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Q1 Describe Signal and System and its classification.

A signal can be anything which conveys information. For example a picture of a person gives you information regarding
whether he is short or tall, fair or black e.t.c Mathematically signal is defined as a function of one or more dependent
variables that conveys information about the state of a system. For example;
a) A speech signal is a function of time. Here independent variable is time and dependent variable is amplitude of speech
b) A picture containing varying brightness is a function of two spatial variables. Here independent variables are spatial
coordinates (X, Y) and dependent variable is brightness or amplitude of picture.

Classification of signals
Signals can be classified based on parameter used to classify them such as
a) Nature of independent variable such as time as
Continuous time signal
Discrete time signal
b) Nature of dependent variable or signal
Analog signal
Digital signal
c) Number of independent variables
One dimensional signal
Two dimensional signal
Multi dimensional signal
c) Based on periodicity of signal as
Periodic signal
Aperiodic signal
d) Based on nature of indeterminancy
Deterministic signal
random signal
e) Based on causality
Casual signal
Anti casual signal
Non casual signal
f) Based on energy content in the signal
Energy signal
Power signal
Neither energy nor power signals.
Continuous time signal, discrete time signal
Continuous time signals are the signals that are defined at a continuum of times i.e. time can assume any value from (-,
). It is a one to one mapping of signal for every value time assumes from (-, ), for every instance of time there exists a
unique and single value of function f (t). The signal also can have continuum of amplitude values. These signals are also
called as analog signals.
If we sample the signal at discrete intervals of time ignoring the values signal takes for times other than sampling times
then the signal is defined as discrete signal. The signal amplitudes are continuous and analog in nature.

analog to discrete signal

Signals strictly speaking are all continuous time in nature; in discrete signals we are just ignoring the unwanted
information in the signal by taking signal amplitudes at discrete instants of time.
Analog signals, digital signals
Signals which are continuous in time and amplitude are called analog signals. That is both independent and dependent
variables are continuous in amplitude. All Continuous time signals are analog signals and vice versa.
Digital signals are one in which time is discrete in nature and amplitude of signals are quantized i.e. they are allowed to
take values from a fixed set of amplitudes. For example a binary signal can have only two values zero or one. Digital
signals are widely used in communications as they are less prone to noise.
analog to digital signal conversion

One dimensional signal, two dimensional signal, Multi dimensional signal

If the signal is a function of only one independent variable such signal is referred to as one dimensional signal. For
example a noisy voice signal shown in the figure is a one dimensional signal is a function of only time.
Similarly if the signal is a function of two dependent variables variable such signal is referred to as one dimensional signal.
For example a simple black and white picture is a function of intensity shown in the figure is a two dimensional signal is a
function of spatial coordinates X and Y. At each point (X, Y) an intensity value is assigned and mapped onto computer
screen as a 2D image.
Multidimensional signal is a function of more than two variables. For example a video signal is a function of three
independent variables which are time and two spatial coordinates(X, Y).

1D signal 2D signal

Periodic signal, Aperiodic signal

A signal can be classified as periodic signal if it repeats itself after a time interval of T, Where T is called period of the
signal. Mathematically a signal f(t) is said to be periodic if f(t+T) = f(t), where the T is the smallest positive non zero value
of all possible values of constants T for which the equality holds then T is said to be period of f(t). For example a sine
wave is periodic wave which satisfies sin () = sin (2*n*+ ) where n =0, +-1, +-2 But as per definition of period only
2*pi qualifies as period. Hence sin () is said to be periodic with period 2* .
A signal which is not periodic is said to be Aperiodic signal. Mathematically it can be defined as a periodic signal with
infinite period. Here infinite period signifies that the signal never repeats itself. Most of the signals we will be dealing are
aperiodic in nature.

Periodic signal aperiodic signal

Deterministic signal,random signal

A deterministic signal is a signal about which there is no uncertainty with respect to its value at any time. Deterministic
signals are modelled uniquely and completely specified functions of time. For example consider a carrier sine wave f (t) =
Am*cos (c*t) its value at any instant is completely defined and can be determined with certainty.
A random signal is a signal about which there is some degree of uncertainty before it actually shows up or before it
actually occurs. For example an outcome of a flipped coin can be heads or tails we dont know with 100 % certainty what
will be the outcome of the event of flipping a coin before the coin is flipped. Thats why we assign probabilities on the
possible outcomes based on our past experiences. In the example of flipping a coin we can say that the outcome can be
heads with 50% probability and outcome can be tails with 50% probability. Noise is a random signal which can be defined
in terms of probability.
Casual signal, Anti casual signal, Non casual signal
The notion of causality actually is more apt for systems nevertheless it can be applied to signals also. A signal is causal if
its amplitude is zero for negative instants of time i.e. t < 0. The causality of a signal depends on time reference (t= 0) at
what instant time is initialized to zero.
A signal is Anti casual signal if its amplitude is zero for positive instants of time t > 0. A non casual signal is one whose
amplitude is non zero for t < 0 and t > 0.

causal signal Anti causal signal Non causal signal

Energy signal, Power signal

Consider a resistor of R ohms with the current passing through it is i (t), then the voltage across the resistor is V (t) = i
(t)*R. The instantaneous power dissipated in the resistor is
P = V2(t)/R in terms of voltage signal,
P = i2(t)*R in terms of current signal.
To remove the dependence of resistance and ease the analysis it is customary in signal analysis to work with one ohm
resistor for which both reduce to same form P = V2(t) = i2(t). Hence the
instantaneous power associated with signal f(t) is defined as P = |f(t)|2.

Total energy of a signal f(t) is defined as E = as T tends to infinity.

Average power is defined as P = as T tends to infinity.

A signal f(t) is an energy signal if its total energy if finite and non zero. The average power associated with a energy signal
is zero.
A signal f (t) is a power signal if its average power if finite and non zero. The energy associated with a power signal is
Signals which have infinite power and infinite energy are classified neither as energy signals or power signals.
Typically periodic signals and random signals are power signals.


Definition of system
System can be considered as a physical entity which manipulates one or more input signals applied to it. For example a
microphone is a system which converts the input acoustic (voice or sound) signal into an electric signal. A system is
defined mathematically as a unique operator or transformation that maps an input signal in to an output signal. This is
defined as y(t) = T[x(t)] where x(t) is input signal, y(t) is output signal, T[] is transformation that characterizes the system
There are many classifications of systems based on parameter used to classify them. They are
a) Linear, non linear systems
b) Time variant, time invariant systems
c) Stable, unstable systems
d) Causal, non causal systems
e) Continuous time, discrete time systems
f) Invertible and noninvertible systems
g) Dynamic and static systems.
Linear, nonlinear systems
A linear system is one which satisfies the principle of superposition and homogeneity or scaling.
Consider a linear system characterized by the transformation operator T[]. Let x1, x2 are the inputs applied to it and y1,
y2 are the outputs. Then the following equations hold for a linear system
y1 = T[x1], y2 = T[x2]
Principle of homogeneity: T [a*x1] = a*y1, T [b*x2] = =b*y2
Principle of superposition: T [x1] + T [x2] = a*y1+b*y2
Linearity: T [a*x1] + T [b*x2] = a*y1+b*y2
Where a, b are constants.
Linearity ensures regeneration of input frequencies at output. Nonlinearity leads to generation of new frequencies in the
output different from input frequencies. Most of the control theory is devoted to explore linear systems.
Time variant, time invariant systems
A system is said to be time variant system if its response varies with time. If the system response to an input signal does not
change with time such system is termed as time invariant system. The behavior and characteristics of time variant system
are fixed over time.
In time invariant systems if input is delayed by time t0 the output will also gets delayed by t0. Mathematically it is specified
as follows
y(t-t0) = T[x(t-t0)]
For a discrete time invariant system the condition for time invariance can be formulated mathematically by replacing t as
n*Ts is given as
y(n-n0) = T[x(n-n0)]
Where n0 is the time delay. Time invariance minimizes the complexity involved in the analysis of systems. Most of the
systems in practice are time invariant systems.
Note: In describing discrete time systems the sampling times n*Ts are mentioned as n i.e. a discrete signal x(n*Ts) is
indicated for simplicity as x(n).
Stable, unstable systems
Most of the control system theory involves estimation of stability of systems. Stability is an important parameter which
determines its applicability. Stability of a system is formulated in bounded input bounded output sense i.e. a system is
stable if its response is bounded for a bounded input(bounded means finite).
An unstable system is one in which the output of the system is unbounded for a bounded input. The response of an unstable
system diverges to infinity.
Causal, non causal systems
The principle of causality states that the output of a system always succeeds input. A system for which the principle of
causality holds is defined as causal system. If an input is applied to a system at time t=0 s then the output of a causal system
is zero for t<0. If the output depends on present and past inputs then system is casual otherwise non casual.
A system in which output (response) precedes input is known as Non causal system. If an input is applied to a system at time
t=0 s then the output of a non causal system is non zero for t<0. Such systems are referred as non-anticipative as the
system output does not anticipate future values of input. Non causal systems do not exist in practice.
Continuous time, discrete time systems
A system which deals with continuous time signals is known as continuous time system. For such a system the outputs and
inputs are continuous time signals.
Discrete time system deals with discrete time signals. For such a system the outputs and inputs are discrete time signals.
Invertible and non-invertible systems
A system is said to be invertible if distinct inputs lead to distinct outputs. For such a system there exists an inverse
transformation (inverse system) denoted by T-1[] which maps the outputs of original systems to the inputs applied.
Accordingly we can write
TT-1 = T-1T = I
Where I = 1 one for single input and single output systems.
A non-invertible system is one in which distinct inputs leads to same outputs. For such a system an inverse system will not
Dynamic and static systems
In static system the outputs at present instant depends only on present inputs. These systems are also called as memory less
systems as the system output at give time is dependent only on the inputs at that same time.
Dynamic systems are those in which the output at present instant depends on past inputs and past outputs. These are also called
as systems with memory as the system output needs to store information regarding the past inputs or outputs.