Dependent Variable

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What Does Dependent Variable Mean?

In computing, a dependent variable is any variable whose value, output or functioning depends on two or more independent variables.

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A dependent variable is used in computer programming to represent a value, process, function or entity within the programming paradigm/context/architecture.

A dependent variable is also known as an outcome variable.

Techopedia Explains Dependent Variable

A dependent variable is primarily a value that is being accessed, evaluated or calculated within/through a computer program or process. The value of the dependent value entirely depends on independent variables that can have any value within the context in which they’re being used.

For example, the total number of visits to a website is dependent on adding traffic from all sources and channels. Therefore, the traffic channel and sources are independent variables that can take any value, but the total number of visitors entirely depends on the independent values.

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Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor
Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor

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.