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1. In mathematics, the difference between the true value and a calculated or observed value. </dd>
A quantity (equal in magnitude to the error) added to a calculated or observed value to obtain the true value is called a correction. </dd>
2. In a computer or data-processing system, any incorrect step, process, or result. </dd>
In addition to the mathematically usage, in the computer field the term is also commonly used to refer to machine malfunctions as machine errors and to human mistakes as human errors. It is frequently helpful to distinguish between these as follows: errors result from approximations used in numerical methods; mistakes result from incorrect programming, coding, data transcription, manual operation, etc.; malfunction result from failures in the operation of machine components such as gates, flip-flops, amplifiers, etc. </dd>


This article is based on NASA's Dictionary of Technical Terms for Aerospace Use