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A device whose output function is proportional to the derivative, or rate of change, of the input function with respect to one or more variables.



(also derivator or derivimeter), a device for determining directions of tangents and normals at particular points on arbitrary curves. The differentiator-triangle is most widely used. At the vertex of the right angle is a column with an optical system for the precise mounting of the device. An arc indicates the scale dividing the angle in degrees (protractor). Sleeves are fixed parallel to the legs of the right angle through which markings are made to construct the tangent or normal to the particular curve.

References in periodicals archive ?
We have already noted that the niche differentiator is expected to choose a job shop or small batch process which embodies its need for organizational simplicity and relatively low capital requirements.
The small size and consequent modest purchasing leverage of the typical niche differentiator may force it to maintain higher than desired levels of components and raw materials in order to avoid long vendor lead times that could be ruinous to its own reputation.
The just-in-time movement intensifies the difficulty of developing coherent inventory management policies for the typically small niche differentiator that often serves larger customers.
The niche differentiator often requires a more highly skilled workforce than others in its industry.
High differentiators are more interested in exploring new ideas and approaches to a task or problem situation than are low differentiators (Sieber & Lanzetta; 1964; Suedfeld & Streufert 1966).
This theoretical framework suggests that low differentiators may have more difficulty in identifying sources of information appropriate for an ill-defined or uncertain task than would high differentiators.
Low differentiators may form intraorganizational links for the purpose of gathering readily available summary information that further defines a task or problem situation.
In contrast to low differentiators, high differentiators are more likely to form intraorganizational links for the purpose of gathering new and diverse information that may aid in the development of novel solutions to uncertain or ill-defined problems.