What is a word for the state of being instantaneous or sustained? For example, with minimum or maximum, a good choice might be bound.

As far as the context goes, I'm working on adding some logging in to some software, and it'll keep an eye on certain statistics and see if they rise above or drop below certain thresholds. One of the ways it'll be configurable is in whether each statistic will trigger a logging statement if its current value steps out of bounds sustainably ("Sustained"), whether its average value does so sustainably ("Sustained Average"), or whether its current value just does so at all ("Instantaneous"). So I'm thinking about what to call this configuration.

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    I edited your post in the assumption you are asking about a word encompassing the state of being either instantaneous or sustained; please feel free to rollback if I have misinterpreted the request.
    – choster
    Nov 23, 2015 at 18:08
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    You could say instantaneous and sustained represent the bounds of duration. But I'm not convinced they really are "extremes", because in most contexts, instantaneous refers to how quickly something starts happening, whereas sustained refers to how long it continues to happen (i.e. - the two concepts are somewhat "orthogonal"). A response can be either, neither, or both. Nov 23, 2015 at 18:08
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    Sounds to me like you're trying to define a level of tolerance for when outlying data points are logged. Logging whether the data goes out of bounds at all is zero-tolerance. Anything more than that means you're tolerating some level of outlying data without logging. Nov 23, 2015 at 19:19
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    @FumbleFingers: following that, perhaps momentary would be a better choice than instantaneous. Or following IT jargon, spike.
    – Marc L.
    Nov 23, 2015 at 19:20
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    This often known as debouncing a signal. Where the signal must remain in the trigger range for a certain specified number of samples before the event is triggered. That count is called the debounce count or debounce threshold. Note that a denounce count of one effectively eliminates the debounce filter and passes the value straight through.
    – Jim
    Nov 23, 2015 at 23:27

4 Answers 4


Peter Coad created a term "Moment-Interval" to describe this phenomenon:

The Moment-Interval class archetype is one of four class archetypes in Peter Coad's 'modeling in color' technique.

Peter Coad defines a Moment-Interval class as modeling something that one needs to work with and track for business and legal reasons, something that occurs at a moment in time or over an interval of time.

In his later notes, he said he wanted to call it Transaction but the term was overloaded in software. But the business term of transaction can happen in an instance or over a period of time, so Business Transaction might be what you're looking for.


I guess you're looking at a rolling average or multiple measurements that exceed a threshold within a time window or perhaps a sample window.

The description sounds a bit wooly to my ears- maybe there is a more mathematical term that refers more precisely to the algorithm you are using, such as peak-to-RMS ratio within a sample window- or maybe that's too long for the intended purpose.


I might suggest:

  • perseverance with a human metaphor,
  • continuation with a musical or textual one,
  • ephemerality if the spike is an exception,
  • extensionality in a weakening of the absolute philosophical property which spaces have and points do not, or
  • extendedness/extension as a less haughty version of this last.

I suggest "persistence," as any hypernym for what you're describing would require further qualification.

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