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Concept# Time-variant system

Summary

A time-variant system is a system whose output response depends on moment of observation as well as moment of input signal application. In other words, a time delay or time advance of input not only shifts the output signal in time but also changes other parameters and behavior. Time variant systems respond differently to the same input at different times. The opposite is true for time invariant systems (TIV).
There are many well developed techniques for dealing with the response of linear time invariant systems, such as Laplace and Fourier transforms. However, these techniques are not strictly valid for time-varying systems. A system undergoing slow time variation in comparison to its time constants can usually be considered to be time invariant: they are close to time invariant on a small scale. An example of this is the aging and wear of electronic components, which happens on a scale of years, and thus does not result in any behaviour qualitatively different from that observed in a time invariant system: day-to-day, they are effectively time invariant, though year to year, the parameters may change. Other linear time variant systems may behave more like nonlinear systems, if the system changes quickly – significantly differing between measurements.
The following things can be said about a time-variant system:
It has explicit dependence on time.
It does not have an impulse response in the normal sense. The system can be characterized by an impulse response except the impulse response must be known at each and every time instant.
It is not stationary
Linear-time variant (LTV) systems are the ones whose parameters vary with time according to previously specified laws. Mathematically, there is a well defined dependence of the system over time and over the input parameters that change over time.
In order to solve time-variant systems, the algebraic methods consider initial conditions of the system i.e. whether the system is zero-input or non-zero input system.

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Related concepts (4)

Time-variant system

A time-variant system is a system whose output response depends on moment of observation as well as moment of input signal application. In other words, a time delay or time advance of input not only shifts the output signal in time but also changes other parameters and behavior. Time variant systems respond differently to the same input at different times. The opposite is true for time invariant systems (TIV). There are many well developed techniques for dealing with the response of linear time invariant systems, such as Laplace and Fourier transforms.

System analysis

System analysis in the field of electrical engineering characterizes electrical systems and their properties. System analysis can be used to represent almost anything from population growth to audio speakers; electrical engineers often use it because of its direct relevance to many areas of their discipline, most notably signal processing, communication systems and control systems. A system is characterized by how it responds to input signals. In general, a system has one or more input signals and one or more output signals.

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In signal processing and control theory, the impulse response, or impulse response function (IRF), of a dynamic system is its output when presented with a brief input signal, called an impulse (δ(t)). More generally, an impulse response is the reaction of any dynamic system in response to some external change. In both cases, the impulse response describes the reaction of the system as a function of time (or possibly as a function of some other independent variable that parameterizes the dynamic behavior of the system).

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