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orthogonal

geometry At 90 degrees (right angles).

vector space, meaning that, any vector in the space can be

expressed as a linear combination of the vectors. This is

true of any set of N linearly independent vectors.

The term is used loosely to mean mutually independent or well

separated. It is used to describe sets of primitives or

capabilities that, like linearly independent vectors in

geometry, span the entire "capability space" and are in some

sense non-overlapping or mutually independent. For example,

in logic, the set of operators "not" and "or" is described as

orthogonal, but the set "nand", "or", and "not" is not

(because any one of these can be expressed in terms of the

others).

Also used loosely to mean "irrelevant to", e.g. "This may be

orthogonal to the discussion, but ...", similar to "going off

at a tangent".