fragmentation

Definitions

General Science

  • noun memory allocation that results in related files being scattered all over a hard disk instead of being stored next to one another

Computing

  • noun memory allocation to a number of files, which has resulted in many small, free sections or fragments that are too small to be of any use, but waste a lot of space
  • noun a situation with files stored scattered across non-contiguous sectors on a hard disk

Economics

  • The splitting of production processes into separate parts that can be done in different locations, including in different countries. One of many terms for the same phenomenon, this particular one (which I seem to favor) originated with Jones and Kierzkowski (1990).

Electronics

  • The storage of files in non-contiguous areas of a disk. This occurs, for instance, when a file is repeatedly enlarged and saved, and the additional space required is not necessarily contiguous to that already utilized by the file. File fragmentation results in slower disk accessing, as there is more head movement. A defragmentation program can rearrange the files located on a computer disk drive, so that they are contiguous. Also called file fragmentation.
  • In a communications network, the breaking up of packets into smaller sized units of data. Used, for instance, to accommodate communications protocols whose maximum packet size is smaller. Also called packet fragmentation.

Marketing

  • noun the use of a variety of media for a publicity campaign
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