Mode has several meanings:

  • In statistics, the mode is the value that has the largest number of observations, namely the most frequent value or values. See mode (statistics).
    • In particular, in fashion, the mode is the trend followed by the largest number of people.
  • In music a mode is a kind of scale; see musical mode.
  • In complex systems, in general, a mode is a specific type of operation: for example in a military avionics system, a fighter plane radar might be in track mode or scan mode or track while scan mode, with distinctly different behavior and intention.
  • In computer software, a mode is distinct method of operation within a computer program, in which the same user input can produce different results depending of the state of the computer. See also modeless, quasimode. Three popular examples of software employing modes:
    • vi - has one mode for inserting text, and a separate mode for entering commands. Some people also call vi's ability to line-edit a "mode" (even though it is launched outside of vi's normal interface, by invoking "ex" from the operating system's command line interface.)
    • Emacs - has many modes that can be evoked based on file type to more easily edit files of a certain type. Modes are written in Emacs's LISP, and all modes may not be included with all versions.
    • CIOS (Cisco Internetworking Operating System) - in order to gain the privilege to execute certain commands, you must enter a certain mode that allows you to execute that command.
    • Also, tool palettes in photo-editing and drawing applications are classical examples of a modal interface.
  • In computer file systems, a common element of metadata in a file is the mode, which is usually understood to mean the type of the file and the set of permissions it has. See stat (Unix).
  • In acoustics, a mode is one of the possible patterns of vibration, analogous to waveguide and cavity modes, only that electrical and magnetical fields are replaced by velocity and displacement. Each mode has a characteristic vibrational frequency and damping. See also: Ernst Chladni, Cymatics.
    • An example of acoustic modes: An "ideal" guitar string of length L, fixed at both ends, will have modes in the shape of sin(n*x*pi/L), where n is the mode number.

See also modality.

fr:Mode nl:Modus it:Moda (statistica) pt:Moda

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