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The state of a system at a given instant is the set of
numerical values which its variables have at that instant.
(Ashby, l960, p. l6)
Any well defined condition or property which can be recognized if it occurs again (Ashby) (see recognition). States may be described in terms of the set of instantaneous values of all the variables of the system (Klir). States are mutually exclusive. Sequential machines occupy only one state at a time, others may have more than one (see computerS). (Krippendorff)