Independent Variable

What Does Independent Variable Mean?

In computing, an independent variable is any variable that changes its value under a process, program, event, or any computing-specific interaction.


It is used in computer programming to be assigned to a variable value, entity or process, or to calculate the value of a dependent variable.

Techopedia Explains Independent Variable

Independent variables have a broad range of utilization with almost all software programs and applications. Each independent variable can have any arbitrary value based on the context in which it is used. It can directly or indirectly affect the value of a dependent variable.

For example, the average number of website visitors from the US depends on the number of visits from this region and the total number of visitors. In this example, the number of visits from the US and the total number of visits are independent variables, whereas the net average is a dependent variable.


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Margaret Rouse

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.