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# VARIETY

in relation to a set of distinguishable elements,
either (l) the number of distinct elements, or (2) the logarithm
to the base 2 of that number, the context indicating the sense
used. When variety is measured in the logarithmic form, its unit
is the bit," a contraction of "BInary digiT." (Ashby, 1956, P.
126)
the amount of output from a system is limited by the
variety possible within the system and/or the variety of input to
the system. The number of possible alternative communications
between the two systems is limited by that system having the
fewest output alternatives and/or the fewest input alternatives.
(Charles E. Osgood)

That aggregate (*see* aggregation) property of a set, collection or variable indicating the number of mutually exclusive alternatives available within it. Variety may be expressed either by the simple number of distinct elements (*see* degree of freedom) or by the dual logarithm thereof (*see* uncertainty, bit). (Krippendorff))

URL= http://cleamc11.vub.ac.be/ASC/VARIETY.html