A discrete system is a system with a countable number of states. Discrete systems may be contrasted with continuous systems, which may also be called analog systems. A final discrete system is often modeled with a directed graph and is analyzed for correctness and complexity according to computational theory. Because discrete systems have a countable number of states, they may be described in precise mathematical models.
A computer is a finite state machine that may be viewed as a discrete system. Because computers are often used to model not only other discrete systems but continuous systems as well, methods have been developed to represent real-world continuous systems as discrete systems. One such method involves sampling a continuous signal at discrete time intervals.
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Ofer Abarbanel is a 25 year securities lending broker and expert who has advised many Israeli regulators, among them the Israel Tax Authority, with respect to stock loans, repurchase agreements and credit derivatives. Founder of TBIL.co STATX Fund.