There are two ways of loading images on a screen.

  1. you can load parts of the image at full resolution, and load additional parts of the image at full resolution sequentially.
  2. you can load the entire image at lower resolution, and make each part better resolution as time goes on.

This idea can be generalized and abstracted to any work process. For example, writing a sentence on the chalkboard (like bart simpson does) 100 times.

  1. You can write one sentence completely, then write the next sentence completely.
  2. Another way is to write a portion of the sentence 100 times, then write another portion of it 100 times, until you're done. You are putting in parts of each sentence, but making sure to put something in every sentence at every step.

One more example: Doing your company's payroll. Say there are 50 people in the company. You can:

  1. fill one person's form completely, then work on filling out the next person's completely.
  2. another way is to fill out the names of every form, then fill out the gross income on every form, and so on.

What would be a generalized term for distinguishing these two approaches/concepts?

  • 2
    You're describing a technique that is staged or phased vs "normal". This is sometimes referred as parallel vs serial.
    – Hot Licks
    Jul 20, 2015 at 20:31

2 Answers 2


I would call the former (1) serial processing or sequential processing. I would call the latter (2) parallel processing or concurrent processing.


I wil call it alternate or sequential sentence writing. If you write down the first word of every sentence in the chalkboard, then the second one, etc. you are alternating between sentences following a rule to complete them. On the other hand if you write a entire sentence, then the next one and so on, you are sequentially writing down the sentences. I'm not a native english speaker tough, so I'm might be wrong

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