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Output is the term denoting either an exit or changes which exit a system and which activate/modify a process. It is an abstract concept, used in the modeling, system(s) design and system(s) exploitation.

Types of output

In control theory

In control theory, the outputs of a system are what can be measured. Specifically, outputs are differentiated through many states.

In engineering

In engineering the term output can refer to:

  1. The power or work output of a machine.
  2. An observable output, such as distance moved or velocity, of a mechanical system.

In equity theory

In equity theory, output is the benefits that an employee receives, including money, perquisites, power, status, fame or variety.

In human-computer interaction

In human–computer interaction, output is information produced by the computer program and perceived by the user. The kinds of output the program makes, and the kinds of input the program accepts, define the user interface of the program. In this context, feedback and output are often used interchangeably. However, output tends to refer specifically to explicit output, something that is intentionally provided for the user, whereas feedback also encompasses byproducts of operation that happen to contain information (see low-key feedback).

In information processing

In information processing, output is the process of transmitting information or the transmitted information itself. The output of one process may well form the input for another information processor. Essentially, output is any data leaving a computer system. This could be in the form of printed paper, audio, video. In the medical industry this might include CT scans or x-rays. Typically in computing, data is entered through various forms (input) into a computer, the data is often manipulated, and then information is presented to a human (output).


In economics, output is the amount of goods and services produced by a person, machine, firm, industry, or country etc. during a specific time period, such as a year. A distinction is drawn between Gross Output and Net output.

In telecommunications

In telecommunication, the term output can refer to:

  1. Information retrieved from a functional unit or from a network, usually after some processing.
  2. An output state, or sequence of states.
  3. Pertaining to a device, process, or channel involved in the production of data by a computer or by any of its components.[1]

See also


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