What does linear mean, as in linear time?


Linear (adj) means having or being a response or output that is directly proportional to the input or of, relating to, or based or depending on sequential development.

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Control theory

Control theory is an interdisciplinary branch of engineering and mathematics that deals with the behavior of dynamical systems with inputs. The external input of a system is called the reference. When one or more output variables of a system need to follow a certain reference over time, a controller manipulates the inputs to a system to obtain the desired effect on the output of the system.

The usual objective of a control theory is to calculate solutions for the proper corrective action from the controller that result in system stability, that is, the system will hold the set point and not oscillate around it.

Electronic circuits

An electronic circuit is composed of individual electronic components, such as resistors, transistors, capacitors, inductors and diodes, connected by conductive wires or traces through which electric current can flow. The combination of components and wires allows various simple and complex operations to be performed: signals can be amplified, computations can be performed, and data can be moved from one place to another. Circuits can be constructed of discrete components connected by individual pieces of wire, but today it is much more common to create interconnections by photolithographic techniques on a laminated substrate (a printed circuit board or PCB) and solder the components to these interconnections to create a finished circuit. In an integrated circuit or IC, the components and interconnections are formed on the same substrate, typically a semiconductor such as silicon or (less commonly) gallium arsenide.

Breadboards, perfboards or stripboards are common for testing new designs. They allow the designer to make quick changes to the circuit during development.

Voltage regulator

A voltage regulator is designed to automatically maintain a constant voltage level. A voltage regulator may be a simple "feed-forward" design or may include negative feedback control loops. It may use an electromechanical mechanism, or electronic components. Depending on the design, it may be used to regulate one or more AC or DC voltages.

Electronic voltage regulators are found in devices such as computer power supplies where they stabilize the DC voltages used by the processor and other elements. In automobile alternators and central power station generator plants, voltage regulators control the output of the plant. In an electric power distribution system, voltage regulators may be installed at a substation or along distribution lines so that all customers receive steady voltage independent of how much power is drawn from the line.

Control system

A control system is a device, or set of devices, that manages, commands, directs or regulates the behavior of other device(s) or system(s). Industrial control systems are used in industrial production for controlling an equipment or a machine.

There are two common classes of control systems, open loop control system and closed loop control system. In open loop control system output is generated based on inputs. In closed loop control system current output is taken into consideration and corrections in it are done based on feedback. So closed loop system is also called as feedback control system. Human body is a classic example of feedback control system. Fuzzy logic is also used in control system.

Elementary algebra

Elementary algebra encompasses some of the basic concepts of algebra, one of the main branches of mathematics. It is typically taught to secondary school students and builds on their understanding of arithmetic. Whereas arithmetic deals with specified numbers, algebra introduces quantities without fixed values, known as variables. This use of variables entails a use of algebraic notation and an understanding of the general rules of the operators introduced in arithmetic. Unlike abstract algebra, elementary algebra is not concerned with algebraic structures outside the realm of real and complex numbers.

The use of variables to denote quantities allows general relationships between quantities to be formally and concisely expressed, and thus enables solving a broader scope of problems. Most quantitative results in science and mathematics are expressed as algebraic equations.

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