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(l) that which determines the structure of a system.
Parameters themselves can be changed by inputs, but usually the
parameters determine how input will be transformed into outputs.
In the linear equation y = ax + b, the slope "a" and the
y-intercept "b" are the parameters; "x" is the independent
variable and "y" the dependent variable. (Umpleby) (2) In
computer science parameter is an entry in a command or routine
that must be replaced with specific data prior to execution.
(Arbib) (3) In a system theory parameters are used to
distinguish between systems that are described by similar sets of
equations--the choice of parameters fits the model to a specific
The New York Times Magazine of May l3, l979, discusses
definitions of parameter". The shortest one that seems neat:
parameter - that what gives definition. another one: PARAMETER
-a constant whose value may vary .. limit combining both:
parameter - a variable that gives definition to a system.
That what distinguishes between systems of the same organization. The input to a system which determines its mode of operation and thus defines what kind it is. In modelling, a value, usually a coefficient in an equation, that can be made to vary across different models with otherwise similar structure or across different simulations by the same model but is constant in each application. The choice of parameters allows an experimenter to fit the model to a given situation. (Krippendorff)