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I am wondering what verb collocates with threshold. I can think of verbs such as surpass, cross, pass, but I am not sure if they are correct to use here.

The threshold I am referring to is not a physical one but rather some value. Specifically, if the threshold is 100 and the value is greater than that, then the threshold is ______?

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Referring to threshold meaning a specific level or point used in different fields such as Economics and Physics for instance, as Ngram shows cross and exceed are the verbs usually associated with it, but other combinations are acceptable.

Threshold:

  • a level or point at which something would happen, would cease to happen, or would take effect, become true, etc b. (as modifier): threshold price; threshold effect. (General Physics)

  • the minimum intensity or value of a signal, etc, that will produce a response or specified effect: a frequency threshold.

Source: www.thefreedictionary.com

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  • note though that "exceed" generally only means in one direction. Usually you want to cover crossing in either direction. So just "crossing" - as in that previous sentence. – Fattie Sep 19 '14 at 8:25
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It's just "crossed" or "passed".

Exactly like a border: For example, "I crossed the Swiss border" or "I passed the red house."

"surpass" is quite different. It simply means "better than".

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  • Also exactly like a border, when the value goes from 99 to 101 it crosses the threshold, but when it goes from 101 to 99 it crosses the threshold as well. – Samuel Edwin Ward Sep 19 '14 at 15:26
  • Right. that's why there's a danger in using "exceed", since that is, generally, "one-way" – Fattie Sep 19 '14 at 16:47
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In case of some value you can use "exceed".
e.g., If it is greater than 100, the threshold is exceeded.

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  • again "exceed" is uni-directional. no programmer would use it, for instance! :) – Fattie Sep 19 '14 at 8:26
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    @JoeBlow I'm a programmer, I'd more likely use exceed than any other word to describe the event of a variable's value growing larger than a threshold. I might even name the function called in that event "thresholdExceeded". – talrnu Sep 19 '14 at 15:16
  • "describe the event of a variable's value growing larger than a threshold" For sure! if you were kvo'ing it going in EITHER DIRECTION, you'd likely not use "exceed". i'd try to write it only once for the two directions to save money :) – Fattie Sep 19 '14 at 16:49
  • @JoeBlow You're aware that the example provided in the question is explicitly a case of transitioning from below a threshold to above it, right? This literally makes uni-directional answers to this question superior to the more ambiguous "multi-dimensional" ones. – talrnu Sep 19 '14 at 17:29
  • "describe the event of a variable's value growing larger than a threshold" For sure! if you were kvo'ing it going in EITHER DIRECTION, you'd likely not use "exceed". i'd try to write it only once for the two directions to save money :) – Fattie Sep 19 '14 at 18:07
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I would use "reached" and "unreached", not only when the threshold is a minimum value, but also when it's a maximum (i.e. when the sample value but be less than the threshold for the "activation").

In either case, the mathematical relationship is derived from the context.

E.g. 1 (threshold is a maximum) Water boils at 100 degrees Celsius. When it reaches this threshold, it starts turning into vapors.

E.g. 2 (threshold is a minimum) Water freezes at 0 degrees Celsius. When it reaches this threshold, it starts turning into ice.

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IMO, if the crossing of threshold value is going to disrupt a system, 'breach' seems more appropriate.

For example: A new Cassandra cluster must be set up as the threshold for the keyspace count has been breached for the [string\|applicationName] application.

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