How would you define augmentation in terms of Computer Science?

I've heard it used as ‘strengthening’:

“In jQuery, you design a page, and then you make it dynamic. This is because jQuery was designed for augmentation...)”

or as ‘extension’:

“I heard about cases where adding an extra requirement to a binary search (for example) can be called augmentation.”

A Google search for ‘augmentation computer science’ brings up a Stack Overflow question, but that's for quite a specific context. Wikipedia defines Augmentation for numerous disciplines but not for Computer Science.

There are lots of examples if you search for augmentation on programmers.SE. I had asked this question on programmers.SE - but was pointed here instead.

  • 3
    Could you please be more specific about what you're looking for? It doesn't sound like you're looking for the definition of a computer science term (which would be off-topic here), but I'm not sure what you are actually looking for. Commented Oct 29, 2013 at 21:00
  • 3
    Could you give an example in a sentence? Commented Oct 29, 2013 at 21:20
  • 1
    I am not sure how much we can help you aside from either a standard dictionary definition or the specifics noted at Wikipedia.
    – MrHen
    Commented Oct 29, 2013 at 22:31
  • @FrustratedWithFormsDesigner I've put in the two sentences I was referring to in the links. Also if you do a search for 'augmentation' on programmers.SE you get hundreds of sentences
    – icc97
    Commented Oct 31, 2013 at 8:51
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    I'm not convinced that you've correctly understood your first example. It seems to me that the use there is extension, and that the parenthetical mention of strengthening was an aside, unrelated to the meaning in the referenced sentence. And if it does mean strengthening then that is anyway a special case of extension, merely narrowing the purpose of the extension. Commented Oct 31, 2013 at 11:07

3 Answers 3


Augmentation means the same thing in computer science as it does in general English, which I would summarise as: extending something to make it better.

Oxford Dictionaries Online gives this definition for the verb augment:

Pronunciation: /ɔːgˈmɛnt/

  • make (something) greater by adding to it; increase

There are some particular uses of augment which have become terms in their own right and imply a more specific meaning based on the general one; for example, augmented reality, augmenting path, graph augmentation, augmented data structure.

In the context of a particular sub-field (for example, graph theory) or even a particular algorithm, the term augmentation may take on a more specialised and well-defined meaning, but in computer science as a whole, the meaning of augmentation is not specialised.


The correct term you are looking for is Augmented Reality. It is related to computer science.

In general it means, Something which is physical, which is real is brought down to your computer or to your mobile.

one simple example: the whole map of the world can be brought down to your mobile, google maps.. as such...

for more examples, if you google augmented reality you will find a whole lot of explanations. It is exactly what you wanted to know. One of the pinnacles of modern world.

  • 1
    1. 'Augmented Reality' is but one instance of augmentation. 2. Your understanding of AR is not correct, please look up the definition of the term and its explanation, online.
    – Kris
    Commented Oct 30, 2013 at 7:05
  • @Kris 1. Accepted. 2. Dear Kris your understanding of AR is not correct as pointed by John. 3. I am a software engineer and right now, I am working in a AR project for my company's innovation lab. May be i dint explain it in detail, but thats a job to be done in stackoverflow.com.... for few more examples, something like Nokia City Lens, is a beautiful example of augmented reality.
    – uma
    Commented Oct 30, 2013 at 10:15
  • Please see my comment @John.
    – Kris
    Commented Oct 30, 2013 at 14:18

See Intelligence Amplification and

Augmented reality

on Wikipedia.

In the field of computer science in general, augmentation deals with aspects of connectivity and responsiveness, while simulation deals with replication and separation.

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    I don't agree with your final sentence. Augmentation doesn't have anything to do with connectivity or responsiveness. It means basically the same thing in computer science as it does in general English: extending something to make it better. The two uses I'm most familiar with: Augmented reality takes reality and augments it with extra information. An augmented data structure is (typically) a well known data structure which has been extended with some extra information so it can solve a new (but related) problem. Commented Oct 30, 2013 at 9:12
  • @JohnBartholomew We are familiar enough with the things over here. The final sentence is based on solid facts. That said, Augmented Reality & Augmented Data Structures are not 'two uses'. They are not related to each other in any way. It's better not to confuse yourself, and mislead others in the process.
    – Kris
    Commented Oct 30, 2013 at 14:17
  • They are two uses of the word "augmentation" in computer science, which is what the question asks about. Commented Oct 30, 2013 at 16:15
  • If you think I'm wrong, perhaps you could expand your answer instead of just dismissing my comment out of hand. Commented Oct 30, 2013 at 16:30
  • @kris: Could you please point out those solid facts? I hope your facts will have some source and not based on your assumptions.
    – uma
    Commented Oct 31, 2013 at 4:05

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