Discrete and Continuous Models

  • Andrew G. Barto
Part of the International Federation for Systems Research International Series on Systems Science and Engineering book series (IFSR, volume 7)


M. E. Van Valkenburg writes in the foreword to Steiglitz’s Introduction to Discrete Systems,1 that “Given the widespread availability of computers, there seems little doubt that the teaching of electrical engineering should undergo an evolution ... In the emerging pedagogical approach, equations should be written in discrete form as difference equations, instead of in continuous form as differential equations. Indeed, equations should seldom be used, since principles should be stated directly in algorithmic form.” Approaches having this character are increasingly being proposed not only in electrical engineering but in other fields where continuous mathematical methods have been traditional, and not only are pedagogical changes being suggested. Digital computing and discrete models are influencing our conception of real world systems and the role classical mathematical methods are to play in modelling them.


Difference Equation Continuous Model Discrete Model Discrete System Computational Simulation 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1991

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  • Andrew G. Barto

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