What Does Invariant Mean?

An invariant is a value or condition that is expected to be consistent during the execution of a process. Invariants are useful in testing the results of algorithms and the integrity of computer programs. Their predictability can simplify the process of assessing the validity of logical assertions, and invariants can be seen as points of reference within surrounding context.


Techopedia Explains Invariant

The earliest published observations of invariant phenomena are said to exist in Carl Friedrich Gauss’s widely influential late-eighteenth century text on number theory, “Disquititiones Arithmeticae.” However, the innovation of a fully formed invariant theory is often accredited to George Boole, who wrote about it for the Cambridge Mathematical Journal in the early 1840s. Other prominent researchers who have expanded on the subject include Otto Hesse and Arthur Cayley (both of whom are European mathematicians from the nineteenth century).


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Margaret Rouse
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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.