Adaptation is what it is called. Most of what it does is adjust the shift pressures to achieve ideal shifts. It does this by deciding how aggressively one is driving and by altering the fill times through changes of shift pressure.
The actual mechanical element in the trans that causes the gear change is usually a clutch. The amount of time it takes to engage is monitored by calculating the gear ratios from the output speed sensors and evaluating the time spent at intolerable ratios (partial engagement).
There are many strategies built into the various shift maps all decided by computer. There is network communications with other controllers to add to the variables. It uses data from wheel speed from the traction cointroller to modify the shift map if the car is cornering as an example. It uses engine temp,speed, and load to vary other maps.
Bosch Master, ASE Master, L1
33 years MB technician