contention

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contention

[kən′ten·chən]
(communications)
A method of operating a multiterminal communication channel in which any station may transmit if the channel is free; if the channel is in use, the queue of contention requests may be maintained in predetermined sequence.
(computer science)
The condition arising when two or more units attempt to transmit over a time-division-multiplex channel at the same time.
Competition for the same computer resources by two or more devices or programs, such as an attempt by several programs to use the same disk drive simultaneously, or by several users in a multiaccess system to use the system's resources.

contention

A condition that arises when two devices attempt to use a single resource at the same time. See contention resolution and CSMA/CD.