What is increment? - Definition from WhatIs.com
Part of the Computing fundamentals glossary:

An increment is a small, unspecified, nonzero change in the value of a quantity. The symbol most commonly used is the uppercase Greek letter delta ( ). The concept is applied extensively in mathematical analysis and calculus.

Consider the case of the graph of a function y = f ( x ) in Cartesian (rectangular) coordinates, as shown in the figure. The slope of this curve at a specific point P is defined as the limit, as x approaches zero, of m = y / x , provided the function is continuous (the curve is not 'broken'). The value y / x depends on defining two points in the vicinity of P . In the illustration, one of the points is P itself, defined as ( x p , y p ), and the other is Q = ( x q , y q ), which is near P . The increments here are y = y q - y p and x = x q - x p . As point Q approaches point P , both of these increments approach zero, and the ratio of increments y / x approaches the slope of the curve at point P .

The term increment is occasionally used in physics and engineering to represent a small change in a parameter such as temperature, electric current, visible light intensity, or time.

Also see Mathematical Symbols .

This was last updated in September 2005
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms

Definitions

  • Cray Inc.

    - Cray Inc. is a pioneering computer company that was founded as Cray Research in 1972 by Seymour Cray, who is known as the father of the supercomputer. (WhatIs.com)

  • DOS

    - DOS (Disk Operating System) can refer to a computer operating system that is loaded from a disk drive or to an operating system based on Microsoft Disk Operating System (MS-DOS). (SearchSecurity.com)

  • supercomputer

    - The first commercially successful supercomputer, the CDC (Control Data Corporation) 6600 was designed by Seymour Cray. Released in 1964, the CDC 6600 had a single CPU and cost $8 million — the equi... (WhatIs.com)

Glossaries

  • Computing fundamentals

    - Terms related to computer fundamentals, including computer hardware definitions and words and phrases about software, operating systems, peripherals and troubleshooting.

  • Internet applications

    - This WhatIs.com glossary contains terms related to Internet applications, including definitions about Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery models and words and phrases about web sites, e-commerce ...

Ask a Question. Find an Answer.Powered by ITKnowledgeExchange.com

Ask An IT Question

Get answers from your peers on your most technical challenges

Ask Question

Tech TalkComment

Share
Comments

    Results

    Contribute to the conversation

    All fields are required. Comments will appear at the bottom of the article.