# ISA Interchange

Welcome to the official blog of the International Society of Automation (ISA).

This blog covers numerous topics on industrial automation such as operations & management, continuous & batch processing, connectivity, manufacturing & machine control, and Industry 4.0.

The material and information contained on this website is for general information purposes only. ISA blog posts may be authored by ISA staff and guest authors from the automation community. Views and opinions expressed by a guest author are solely their own, and do not necessarily represent those of ISA. Posts made by guest authors have been subject to peer review.

# AutoQuiz: How to Use the Parity System to Detect Data Transmission Errors

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AutoQuiz is edited by Joel Don, ISA's social media community manager.

This automation industry quiz question comes from the ISA Certified Control Systems Technician (CCST) program. Certified Control System Technicians calibrate, document, troubleshoot, and repair/replace instrumentation for systems that measure and control level, temperature, pressure, flow, and other process variables. Click this link for more information about the CCST program.

### When using the parity system to detect data transmission errors, the parity bit is set to a “1” or a “0” based on the content of the:

a) bits in the data word
b) start bit and bits in the data word
c) bits in the data word, including parity
d) bits in the data word, parity, and the stop bit
e) none of the above

The correct answer is A, bits in the data word. Parity is a simple method using a binary code (“1” or “0”) to detect data transmission errors by making the sum of the “1” bits in the source data either an odd or an even number. The calculated parity bit is then appended to the end of the data stream.

For example, if the following data word is to have "even parity," the parity bit would be set to "1" in order for there to be an overall "even number" of bits set to "1":

1 1 0 1 1 0 1                         parity bit = 1

The resulting data, with the parity bit, would be: 1 1 0 1 1 0 1 1 (total of six "1" bits).

The receiving device strips off the parity bit, recalculates the parity, and compares the result to the parity bit received. If it matches, it is assumed that the received data and the sent data match. If not, an error (parity error) is flagged. For communication to occur, both the sender and receiver must be configured for the same sense of parity (both odd or both even).

Since there are five "1" bits in the original word, the parity bit for "odd parity" is a "0."

Reference: Goettsche, L.D. (Editor), Maintenance of Instruments and Systems, 2nd Edition

Joel Don is the community manager for ISA and is an independent content marketing, social media and public relations consultant. Prior to his work in marketing and PR, Joel served as an editor for regional newspapers and national magazines throughout the U.S. He earned a master's degree from the Medill School at Northwestern University with a focus on science, engineering and biomedical marketing communications, and a bachelor of science degree from UC San Diego.

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###### Joel Don
Joel Don is an independent content marketing, social media and public relations consultant. Prior to his work in marketing and PR, Joel served as an editor for regional newspapers and national magazines throughout the U.S. He earned a master's degree from the Medill School at Northwestern University with a focus on science, engineering and biomedical marketing communications, and a bachelor of science degree from UC San Diego.