Elemental signals are the building blocks with which we build complicated signals. By definition, elemental signals have a simple structure. Exactly what we mean by the "structure of a signal" will unfold in this section of the course. Signals are nothing more than functions defined with respect to some independent variable, which we take to be time for the most part. Very interesting signals are not functions solely of time; one great example of which is an image. For it, the independent variables are x and y (two-dimensional space). Video signals are functions of three variables: two spatial dimensions and time. Fortunately, most of the ideas underlying modern signal theory can be exemplified with one-dimensional signals.
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