AskDefine | Define integrator

Dictionary Definition

integrator n : a measuring instrument for measuring the area of an irregular plane figure [syn: planimeter]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. A person who, or a device which integrates
  2. A device which calculates definite integrals
  3. Any electronic device that sums a measurement over time

Extensive Definition

An integrator is a device to perform the mathematical operation known as integration, a fundamental operation in calculus.
The integration function is often part of engineering, physics, mechanical, chemical and scientific calculations.

Integrator in signal processing

Electronic devices have been constructed to perform integration (usually with respect to time) of signals. This operation is a form of first-order low-pass filter, which can be performed in the continuous-time (analog) domain or approximated (simulated) in the discrete-time (digital) domain. An integrator will have a low pass filtering effect but when given an offset it will accumulate a value building it until it reaches a limit of the system or overflows.

Integrator in computer simulation

In some computational physics computer simulations, such as numerical weather prediction, molecular dynamics, flight simulators, reservoir simulation, noise barrier design, architectural acoustics, and electronic circuit simulation, an integrator is a numerical method for integrating trajectories from forces (and thereby accelerations) that are only calculated at discrete time steps.
There are a variety of explicit and implicit methods used in computer simulations. The most basic and least accurate kind of numerical integration is Euler integration. Verlet integration improves the accuracy of the integration to within fourth-order Taylor series terms, and the Runge-Kutta method which is gaining popularity further improves this accuracy to within fifth-order Taylor series terms.

External links

integrator in Czech: Integrační článek
integrator in Dutch: Integrator
integrator in Japanese: 積分器
integrator in Polish: Układ całkujący
integrator in Portuguese: Integrador
integrator in Russian: Интегратор (устройство)
integrator in Finnish: Integraattori
integrator in Ukrainian: Інтегратор
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