The LDOCE5 states that "notation" is

a system of written marks or signs used to represent something such as music, mathematics, or scientific ideas

It mentions that this word can be both countable and uncountable but does not say when to use which one. Could you give some example on the difference between notation and notations?

I want to write a paper and I don't know which one of the following expressions is better for the topic of a section:

  1. Notation and parameters

  2. Notations and parameters

  3. Notation

  4. Notations

  • What is/are your notation(s)? Also "notation" has more than one meaning, so confirm your above definition fits your example. – user3169 Oct 28 '17 at 19:53
  • Are you going to present one notation (one system of symbols) or more than one? – The Photon Oct 29 '17 at 0:55
  • Well, the problem is that I don't know what is considered as a system of symbols! In that section, I want to mention what are the input parameters and sets for the problem I examine throughout the paper. For example, I have d to denote demand, c to denote capacity, and so on. There are several more symbols but all of them are used to introduce one problem. – r.beigi Oct 29 '17 at 2:09

It seems to me that the adequate title here is either "Parameters" or "Variables".

Usually, when you write a paper about some scientific work, your parameters/variables are not obvious. Naturally, you assign a name or a symbol to each one; but the main point of this section (if I understand correctly) is the variables, rather than the names.

Conversely, if the variables are commonly known and your naming system is an innovation, it makes more sense to title this part "Notation".

  • Thanks laugh. In my field of study, OR, we often have sets, indices, decision variables and parameters. Parameters are usually given data, but decision variables are not given a priori and your model will decide what values should they take such that the problem is optimized. Basically, in that section I introduce sets, indices and parameters. Decision variables are introduced in later stages. – r.beigi Oct 29 '17 at 22:11

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