Discrete-time signal

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Discrete sampled signal

A discrete signal or discrete-time signal is a time series consisting of a sequence of quantities.

Unlike a continuous-time signal, a discrete-time signal is not a function of a continuous argument; however, it may have been obtained by sampling from a continuous-time signal. When a discrete-time signal is obtained by sampling a sequence at uniformly spaced times, it has an associated sampling rate.


Discrete-time signals may have several origins, but can usually be classified into one of two groups:[1]

  • By acquiring values of an analog signal at constant or variable rate. This process is called sampling.[2]
  • By observing an inherently discrete-time process, such as the weekly peak value of a particular economic indicator.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Digital Signal Processing" Prentice Hall - Pages 11-12
  2. ^ "Digital Signal Processing: Instant access." Butterworth-Heinemann - Page 8
  • Gershenfeld, Neil A. (1999). The Nature of mathematical Modeling. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-57095-6. 
  • Wagner, Thomas Charles Gordon (1959). Analytical transients. Wiley.