Terminology problem

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (sentience@pobox.com)
Date: Wed Apr 03 2002 - 12:48:31 MST

Those of you who've read GISAI will be familiar with the idea of
"qualitative", "quantitative", and "structural" variables:

    A qualitative variable has referents selected
    from a bounded set which is computationally small
    - for example, a set of twenty possible actions,
    or a set of twenty-six possible lowercase

    A quantitative variable is selected from the set of
    real numbers, or from a computationally large set
    which approximates a smoothly varying scalar
    quantity (the set of floating-point numbers, the
    set of signed 64-bit integers).

    A structural variable is composed of a finite number
    of quantitative or qualitative elements.
    Examples: A finite string of lowercase letters,
    e.g. "mkrznye". A real point in 3D space (three
    quantitative elements). A 2D black-and-white
    image (set of binary pixels).

I want to get rid of the confusing similarity between "quantitative" and
"qualitative". "Quantitative" fits well, so ideally I'd like to get rid of
"qualitative" and replace it with something that more effectively conveys
the image of a selection from a bounded set or binary set. Any suggestions?

-- -- -- -- --
Eliezer S. Yudkowsky http://intelligence.org/
Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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