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A novel measurement system is 'granular' in the sense that it is measuring millions of unique entities (figuratively speaking: grains of sand) and keeps track of data on a per-entity basis. The system provides information-rich and specific data measurements, which I initially described as 'granular', because the measurements unexpectedly yielded very detailed measurements that enable new analytical capabilities. The concern is that the thesaurus indicates that many synonyms for granular have negative connotations that I would not want to be used to describe the system. Synonyms:

chapped

coarse-grained

crude

grainy

gritty

harsh

homespun

impure

inferior

loose

lumpy

mediocre

particulate

poor quality

rough

rough-hewn

rugged

unfinished

unpolished

unprocessed

unpurified

Is there a concise word to describe the measurement system, that communicates the measurements are high fidelity, information rich, innovative, and very specific?

The intent is to use the word as a label in a patent application to convey that measurement data reflects measurements of millions of unique entities (much like grains of sand) and that each atomic measurement is for specific entity (grain of sand).

Any questions or suggestions to clarify / sharpen this postings are welcomed and appreciated. Patience is appreciated.

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    How about fine-grained? – Jim Sep 18 '18 at 18:25
  • Cellular? I know it's used in biology and telephone technology, but perhaps it might fit your context too. – S Conroy Sep 18 '18 at 19:03
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    "Granular" isn't negative in connotation. Words can be synonymous but have different connotations, such as "strong-willed" and "pig-headed". – Laurel Sep 18 '18 at 19:23
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    'Granular' has no negative connotations at all. The thesaurus in your link seems to have a bug in its database. – TonyK Sep 18 '18 at 19:23
  • granular and granularity is everywhere in technical contexts to mean: very detailed. You cannot use an online thesaurus for this. – Lambie Sep 18 '18 at 20:43
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"Granular" as in "grainy" is certainly not a positive word, after all, who likes grainy pears? Merriam-Webster:

1 : consisting of or appearing to consist of granules : grainy

But, in the sciences, and in terms of data, "granularity" is a well-accepted term. From the "granularity" Wikipedia page:

Granularity (also called graininess), the condition of existing in grains or granules, refers to the extent to which a material or system is composed of distinguishable pieces or grains. It can either refer to the extent to which a larger entity is subdivided, or the extent to which groups of smaller indistinguishable entities have joined together to become larger distinguishable entities.

In this usage, there is nothing negative about saying a system or measurement is "granular."

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