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Discrete Variable

Variable are the attributes that can vary. In statistics, there are two main types of variables which are: qualitative variables and quantitative variables. A discrete variable is a kind of variable which has values of discrete points. It takes values from a finite set. It cannot have all the values within the limits of a variable. Discrete variables can contain only integers. Values with decimal point are not allowed in a discrete variable. It cannot have all the values on a real number line.
 The values between two real numbers cannot be assigned in a discrete variable. It explains a finite number of conditions and takes values from finite set. Variables that take a finite number of values are called "discrete variables." Qualitative variables are categorized as discrete variables. Many quantitative variables are also discrete.

Properties of Discrete Variables
Discrete variables contain following properties:

  • All qualitative variables are discrete.
  • Discrete variables belong to a finite set of values.
  • The values in discrete variable cannot have decimal point, i.e. it cannot have a value between two real numbers.
  • Discrete variables cannot not have fractional values.
Examples of Discrete Variables
  • Number of legs of different animals is a discrete variable because it cannot take any value. It can never be expressed as fraction.
  • Rating for a movie from 1 to 5, is a discrete variable, since it takes only limited values : 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
  • Qualitative variables come under the category of discrete variables, as they have a limited values to be assigned. Like - The variable hair color can have fixed number of values - brown, black, red, blonde etc.
  • Total number of members in a family or total number of children in a family are the examples of discrete variables, since these value are defined on finite set and can always be a whole number.

Related Calculators
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Determinant Calculator with Variables Fraction and Variable Calculator

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