[ree-uh l-tahym, reel-] /ˈri əlˈtaɪm, ˈril-/

adjective, Computers.
of or relating to applications in which the computer must respond as rapidly as required by the user or necessitated by the process being controlled.
[ree-uh l, reel] /ˈri əl, ril/
Computers. the actual time elapsed in the performance of a computation by a computer, the result of the computation being required for the continuation of a physical process.
the actual time during which a process takes place or an event occurs.
in real time, Informal. at once; instantaneously.
denoting or relating to a data-processing system in which a computer receives constantly changing data, such as information relating to air-traffic control, travel booking systems, etc, and processes it sufficiently rapidly to be able to control the source of the data

A term used to describe computer systems that update information at the same rate as they receive data.

1. Describes an application which requires a program to respond to stimuli within some small upper limit of response time (typically milli- or microseconds). Process control at a chemical plant is the classic example. Such applications often require special operating systems (because everything else must take a back seat to response time) and speed-tuned hardware.
2. In jargon, refers to doing something while people are watching or waiting. “I asked her how to find the calling procedure’s program counter on the stack and she came up with an algorithm in real time.”
Used to describe a system that must guarantee a response to an external event within a given time.


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