What Does Interpolation Mean?

Interpolation is the estimation of a value or set of values based on their context. Linear interpolation, a very simple form of interpolation, is basically the rendering of a straight line between two or more points. Interpolation is useful for filling in missing data, such as in upscaling images or creating statistical models.


Techopedia Explains Interpolation

Over the years, interpolation has been implemented in many different technologies, including telegraph transmission and digital imaging. Computer-aided design commonly employs spline interpolation in order to render curves that appear organic and are relatively simple to manipulate. Audio interpolation uses mathematical functions to fill in audio data in order to improve sound quality. Some cameras, in addition to optical zoom (which depends on physical lens functions), also feature digital zoom that essentially upscales images through interpolation.


Related Terms

Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.