Discrete time is the Classification of discontinuities|discontinuity of a Function (mathematics)|function's time domain that results from Sampling (signal processing)|sampling a Variable (mathematics)|variable at a finite interval. For example, consider a newspaper that reports the price of crude oil once every day at 6:00AM. The newspaper is described as sampling the cost at a frequency of 24 hours, and each number that's published is called a sample. The price is not Well-definition|defined by the newspaper in between the times that the numbers were published. Suppose it is necessary to know the price of the oil at 12:00PM on one particular day in the past; one must base the estimate on any number of samples that were obtained on the days before and after the event. Such a process is known as interpolation. In general, the sampling Frequency|period in discrete-time systems is constant, but in some cases nonuniform sampling is also used.
Discrete-time signals are typically written as a function of an index n (for example, x(n) or x'n may represent a discretisation of x(t) sampled every T seconds). In contrast to Continuous signal systems, where the behaviour of a system is often described by a set of linear differential equations, discrete-time systems are described in terms of difference equations. Most Monte Carlo Method|Monte Carlo simulations utilize a discrete-timing method, either because the system cannot be efficiently represented by a set of equations, or because no such set of equations exists. Transform-domain analysis of discrete-time systems often makes use of the Z transform.
Discrete time is the Classification of discontinuities|discontinuity of a Function (mathematics)|function's time domain that results from Sampling (signal processing)|sampling a Variable (mathematics)|variable at a finite interval. For example, consider a newspaper that reports the price of crude oil once every day at 6:00AM. The newspaper is described as sampling the cost at a frequency of 24 hours, and each number that's published is called a sample. The price is not Well-definition|defined by the newspaper in between the times that the numbers were published. Suppose it is necessary to know the price of the oil at 12:00PM on one particular day in the past; one must base the estimate on any number of samples that were obtained on the days before and after the event. Such a process is known as interpolation. In general, the sampling Frequency|period in discrete-time systems is constant, but in some cases nonuniform sampling is also used.
Discrete-time signals are typically written as...