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What Does Token Mean?

A token is a sequence of characters that represents a single unit of meaning.


In the context of large language models (LLMs), tokens are used to represent individual words or subwords in a text sequence. The process of breaking down text into individual tokens is called tokenization.

In natural language generation (NLG), tokens are used as input to make it easier for the machine learning model to learn about all the relationships that exist between elements in a text sequence. This approach allows the model to process text in a way that captures both its structure and meaning.

Techopedia Explains Token

In networking, the word token has a different meaning. It is a special frame that is passed from node to node around a ring network. When it gets to a node that needs to transmit data, the node changes the token into a data frame and transmits it to the recipient.

Tokens are essential to the inner workings of a token ring network. A token can only be handled by a single node at a time. The bearer of the token is the only one allowed to send data around the network to a recipient node within the network. The bearer of the token writes the address of the recipient and the data to be sent, and then sends it to the next node in the series.

When the sender node sends the token to the next node, that node reads the address. If that node is not the intended recipient, it sends the data to the next node and so on. Finally, when the recipient node reads the data and knows that it is the recipient, it takes the data and sends the token back to the the sender’s address with a message indicating that the data was received. The token is then sent around the ring again until it reaches the sender/bearer of the token. After using the token, a node releases it back into the network so other nodes will be able to use it.

Although token ring transmission seems to be a slow process, users rarely notice it because data communication occurs rapidly.


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