What is independent variable? - Definition from WhatIs.com


independent variable

Part of the Mathematics glossary:

An independent variable is a variable that is manipulated to determine the value of a dependent variable s. The dependent variable is what is being measured in an experiment or evaluated in a mathematical equation and the independent variables are the inputs to that measurement.

In a simple mathematical equation, for example:

a = b/c the independent variables, b and c , determine the value of a .

Here's a simple example:
A teacher wishes to compare the number of tardy students wearing black with the number of tardy students wearing pink. In this scenario, clothing color is the independent variable and the difference in the number of students, categorized by clothing color, is the dependent variable.

This was last updated in March 2008
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms


  • backpropagation algorithm

    - The backpropagation algorithm repeatedly processes data to improve the accuracy of predictions in machine learning and neural network applications. (SearchBusinessAnalytics.com)

  • extrapolation and interpolation

    - Extrapolation is an estimation of a value based on extending a known sequence of values or facts beyond the area that is certainly known. (WhatIs.com)

  • negative correlation

    - A negative correlation is a relationship between two variables such that as the value of one variable increases, the other decreases.  Correlation is expressed on a range from +1 to -1, known as th... (WhatIs.com)


  • Mathematics

    - Terms related to mathematics, including definitions about logic, algorithms and computations and mathematical terms used in computer science and business.

  • 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



    Contribute to the conversation

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