• (British) IPA: /pəˈɹæm.ɪ.tə/

parameter (plural parameters)

  1. A value kept constant during an experiment, equation, calculation or similar, but varied over other versions of the experiment, equation, calculation, etc.
  2. (sciences) a variable that describes some system (material, object, event etc.) or some aspect thereof
    • 2007, Charles M. Hansen, Hansen Solubility Parameters: A User's Handbook, Second Edition, CRC Press ISBN 9781420006834, page 113
      Cohesion parameters (solubility parameters) can be used with full theoretical justification to characterize many surfaces ...
    • 2012, Wolfgang Desch, Franz Kappel, Karl Kunisch, Control and Estimation of Distributed Parameter Systems: International Conference in Maria Trost (Austria), July 15–21, 2001, Birkhäuser ISBN 9783034880015, page 41
      To this end, we derive an a posteriori error estimator for the error with respect to the unknown parameter.
    • 2012, Michael Lemmon, Competitively Inhibited Neural Networks for Adaptive Parameter Estimation, Springer Science & Business Media ISBN 9781461540441, page 74
      The parameter estimation problem considered in this chapter consists of estimating the unknown parameter, ū [a barred v, actually], given N samples of the observation process.
  3. (programming) An input variable of a procedure definition, that gets an actual value (argument) at execution time (formal parameter).
    Roughly, a tuple of arguments could be thought of as a vector, whereas a tuple of parameters could be thought of as a covector (i.e., linear functional). When a function is called, a parameter tuple becomes "bound" to an argument tuple, allowing the function instance itself to be computed to yield a return value. This would be roughly analogous to applying a covector to a vector (by taking their dot product (or, rather, matrix-product of row vector and column vector)) to obtain a scalar.
  4. (programming) An actual value given to such a formal parameter (argument or actual parameter).
  5. A characteristic or feature that distinguishes something from others.
  6. (geometry) In the ellipse and hyperbola, a third proportional to any diameter and its conjugate, or in the parabola, to any abscissa and the corresponding ordinate.
    The parameter of the principal axis of a conic section is called the latus rectum.
  7. (crystallography) The ratio of the three crystallographic axes which determines the position of any plane.
  8. (crystallography) The fundamental axial ratio for a given species.
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