Categories of communication systems

Discrete Communication System
Continuous Communication System
Mixed Communication System

Shannon, Claude. & Weaver, Waren (1949 / 1964). The Mathematical Theory of Communication. Urbana: The University of Illinois Press. S.34.

We may roughly classify communication systems into three main categories: discrete, continuous and mixed. By a discrete system we will mean one in which both the message and the signal are a sequence of discrete symbols. A typical case is telegraphy where the message is a sequence of letters and the signal a sequence of dots, dashes and spaces. A continuous system is one in which the message and signal are both treated as continuous functions, e.g., radio or television. A mixed system is one in which both discrete and contmuous variables appear, e.g., PCM transmission of speech.