IEEE Computer Society Style Guide

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A

 

 

 

* Denotes entries for which it is okay to use acronym or abbreviated term on first use

 

A: ampere, for example, 25 A (n); 25-A current (adj)

 

AAAI: American Association for Artificial Intelligence

 

AAAS: American Association for the Advancement of Science

 

AACP: American Association of Computing Professionals

 

ABET: Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology

*

AC: alternating current

 

academic degrees: BS, MS, and PhD are the standard abbreviations for the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees that we encounter in most of our authors' biographies. However, if an author insists, using "BSME" or "BSEE" instead of "BS in mechanical engineering" or "MSc" instead of "MS" is acceptable. These and other variants have the sanction of being included in the Webster's list of abbreviations. In general, reproduce non-US degrees as authors submit them (except for periods), for example, BEng, BTech, and DPhil. See also bachelor's, master's, doctorate.

 

accents: Use accents in anglicized non-English terms when important for pronunciation, to avoid confusion with another word, or where context makes it unclear. Use accents in non-English names, especially names of individuals. In general, lean toward the author's preference. See also the Non-English Words and Phrases section.

 

ACE: Advanced Computing Environment

 

ACID: atomicity, consistency, isolation, and durability (a test)

 

ACK: acknowledgment

 

Acknowledgments: not Acknowledgements

 

ACL: Association for Computational Linguistics

 

ACM: Association for Computing Machinery; includes several special-interest groups (SIGs). With the exception of Siggraph and Sigmod, use the ACM style for each SIG in text or references. See www.acm.org/sigs for a current listing. Use "is a member of ACM" in bios. In references, use ACM instead of ACM Press (old format).

 

acronyms: See the Acronyms and Abbreviated Terms section for general style guidelines.

 

ACS: Australian Computer Society

 

ActiveX: software technology from Microsoft

 

A/D: analog/digital

 

Ada: a programming language (named for Augusta Ada Lovelace) developed by the US Defense Department

 

ADAPSO: Association of Data Processing Service Organizations; renamed as Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) in 1991

 

ADC: analog-to-digital converter

 

add-in board

 

Addison-Wesley or Addison Wesley Longman; Addison-Wesley Professional

 

add-on (adj)

 

address mode (n): the way the processor is addressed; includes sequential, forward, and backward addressing, among other modes; hyphenate when used as an adjective

 

ADSL: asymmetric digital subscriber line (for fast Internet access)

 

AEA: American Electronics Association

 

AEC (adj): architecture-engineering-construction; no hyphens in the acronym

 

AES: Advanced Encryption Standard; NIST standard for symmetric key encryption

 

AFCET: Association Française pour la Cybernétique Économique et Technique

 

AFIPS: American Federation of Information Processing Societies (no longer exists)

 

agile: not capitalized when it refers to programming techniques

*

AI: artificial intelligence; acceptable on first reference if context makes it clear

 

AIAA: American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics

 

AIChE: American Institute of Chemical Engineers

 

AIIM: Association for Information and Image Management

 

AIM: advanced instruction module

 

AIP: American Institute of Physics

 

Ajax: Asynchronous JavaScript and XML

 

A K Peters: Publisher (note: no periods after initials)

 

Algol: stands for algorithmic language

 

ALPG: algorithmic pattern generator (hardware and software)

 

Al Qaeda

 

ALU: arithmetic logic unit

*

a.m.: ante meridiem "before noon" (also includes 12:00 midnight). See also p.m.

 

ampersand: retain symbol in proper names when the name owner uses it that way; otherwise avoid

 

Amazon.com

 

Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk)

 

AMS: American Mathematical Society

 

AMU: Association of Minicomputer Users

 

analog: not analogue

 

and/or: avoid this construction

 

ANOVA: analysis of variance; a statistical test

*

ANSI: American National Standards Institute

 

Ansys: finite-element analysis software by Swanson Analysis Systems

 

anti-: not hyphenated as a compound modifier unless root word is a proper noun or begins with "i," for example, antialiasing, anti-intellectual

 

apa: all points addressable

 

APDA: Apple Programmers and Developers Association

*

API: application programming interface

*

APL: A Programming Language

 

appendices: not appendixes

 

Apple IIe, IIgs; Macintosh IIc, IIcx, IIfx, and so on

 

apps: acceptable abbreviated term for applications

 

Arcnet: Attached Resource Computer Network; developed by Datapoint Corp.

 

ARO: after receipt of order; Army Research Office (preceded by US if spelled out)

 

ARPA: Advanced Research Projects Agency, a part of the US Defense Department; DARPA is the preferred usage.

 

Arpanet: the oldest of the networks on the Internet; initial capital only

 

artificial intelligence: AI is acceptable on first reference if the context makes it clear. The term loosely includes expert systems, knowledge bases, natural-language interfaces, pattern recognition (voice, image, and signal), and neural networks.

 

ASC: American Society for Cybernetics

 

ASCI: Accelerated Strategic Computing Initiative

*

ASCII: American Standard Code for Information Interchange

 

ASIC: application-specific integrated circuit. Don't spell this out in Pervasive Computing.

 

ASIS: American Society for Information Science and Technology

 

ASME: American Society of Mechanical Engineers

 

ASP: application service provider; application-specific processor; Active Server Pages

 

ASPLOS: Architectural Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems; the name of a conference

 

assembly language (lowercase; not assembler): a computer language that assembles the assembly-language code, as a compiler compiles high-level code

 

ASTI: Association for Science, Technology, and Innovation

 

ATE: automatic test equipment

 

ATM: asynchronous transfer mode

 

ATPG: automatic test-pattern generation

 

AutoCAD: software from Autodesk Inc.; exception to normal style because of common usage

 

Autoprobe

 

avatar: graphical image that represents a person

 

Awk: a language based on the authors' names—Aho, Weinberger, and Kernighan

 


B

 

 

B2B: business-to-business

 

B2C: business-to-consumer

 

bachelor's degree

 

back end (n), back-end (adj)

 

backplane (n): an electronic circuit board containing circuitry and sockets into which additional electronic devices on other circuit boards or cards can be plugged; generally synonymous with or part of a computer motherboard

 

backup (n, adj): for example, the system served as a backup; a backup copy

 

back up (v): as in, you can back up the database

 

bandwidth

 

bar code

 

Basic: a programming language; allegedly stands for "beginner's all-purpose symbolic instruction code," but this is etymologically suspect

 

BasicA: Microsoft advanced Basic; known as "GW-Basic" on non-IBM, MS-DOS computers

 

baud (singular, plural): transmission speed in units per second, originally used to measure telegraph transmission. In computing, the units are usually bits, hence the common practice of using baud and bps interchangeably. However, this is technically inaccurate because the unit in a baud can be any discrete element.

 

BCS: British Computer Society

 

BDI: beliefs, desires, intentions—a model of human reasoning

 

BEEP: Blocks Extensible Exchange Protocol

 

Beijing: the Pinyin form used instead of "Peking"

 

benchmark: a standardized problem, test, or suite of tests that serves as a basis for the repeatable, objective comparison of hardware or software; examples include Dhrystone, Mflops, Sim, Whetstone

 

beta site: the secondary (hence beta) site

 

Beta-spline (n, adj): not the same as a B-spline

 

beta test (n, v)

 

Bezier: no accent mark on the first syllable

 

BFL: buffered field-effect transistor logic

 

BIFS: binary format for scenes

 

BGP: Border Gateway Protocol

 

"Big Blue": informal name for IBM

 

BIOS: basic input/output system; operating system software that handles communications with devices, including monitors, keyboards, disk drives, processors, and ports

 

Birkhaüser Boston: North American branch of the Swiss publisher, Birkhaüser Publishing

 

BIST: built-in self-test

 

bit: a binary digit, 0 or 1; the basic element making up digital data

 

-bit (suffix): adjectives formed with numbers and bit are hyphenated, for example, 64-bit processor

 

bitblt: Previous CS Style Guide versions defined this term as "bit block-level transfer," but some authors insist on "bit block transfer."

 

bitline

 

bitmap: digital representation of an image in which bits are mapped into pixels; in color graphics, a different bitmap is used for each red, green, and blue value

 

bitmapped graphics

 

Bitnet: communications network between universities and research centers. Although it's reputed to stand for "Because It's Time Network," the term is not a true acronym.

 

bit rate

 

bit-slice processor

 

bit-sliced (adj)

 

bitstream (n, adj)

 

bitwise (n): dealing with bits rather than a larger structure such as a byte; bitwise operators are programming commands or statements that work with individual bits

 

black-and-white (adj)

 

BlackBerry

 

black box: a complicated electronic device whose internal mechanism is usually hidden from or mysterious to the user

 

BLAS: basic linear algebra subroutines

 

blog: a shared online journal

 

Bluetooth

 

Blu-ray

 

BNF: Backus-Naur Form, a metalanguage

 

boldface: strictly limit use as an emphasis technique; italic type is preferred and should be used whenever possible

 

Boolean: from George Boole; spelling with a capital B is preferred

 

bootup (n), boot up (v): more commonly just boot

 

botnet: jargon term for a collection of software robots, or bots, that run autonomously

 

bottom-up design: design that starts at the system level as opposed to top-down design, which starts at the logic level and works down. In middle-out design, design starts at the middle level and proceeds up or down.

 

boundary scan: a self-test technique; not synonymous with scan

 

BPEL4WS: Business Process Execution Language for Web Services

 

bpi: bits per inch, for example, 1,600-bpi magnetic tape unit; 1,600 bpi

 

BPML: Business Process Modeling Language

 

bps: bits per second, as in, 1,200 bps; see also baud

 

BPSS: Business Process Specification Schema

 

BRDF: bidirectional reflectance distribution function

 

B-rep: boundary representation

 

broadband (n): technique for high-speed data transmission

 

broadcast bus: sends a single data item to all bus destinations in a unit of time

 

brute-force attack

 

BSA: Business Software Alliance

 

Bsafe: encryption software

 

BSD: Berkeley Software Distribution, an extended and modified version of AT&T Unix from the University of California, Berkeley

 

B-spline (n, adj): not the same as a Beta-spline

 

Bsquare

 

b-trieve: random-access search technique used in databases

 

burn-in (adj, n); burn in (v)

 

bus, bused, busing, buses: The s is not doubled.

 

byte: an eight-bit string that a processor reads as a group; generally, one byte equals one alphanumeric character

 

bytecode: one word

 


C

 

 

C: a programming language

 

C++: a programming language based on C and extended to include object-oriented features (++ is not super- or subscripted)

 

C3: command, control, and communications

 

C3I: command, control, communications, and intelligence

 

Cx: (x is an integer or an algebraic representation of an integer); a mathematical notation referring to the continuity of a function and therefore its differentiability (in calculus) because derivatives are undefined where functions are discontinuous. Less formally, continuity refers to the "smoothness" of a function or curve. C0 means the function is continuous but its derivatives are not. C1 means both the function and its first derivative are continuous, but the second derivative might not be. More complicated forms, such as CK-1, also occur. Some authors make the C calligraphic, but this is not necessary.

*

CAD: computer-aided design

 

CADAM: computer graphics augmented design and manufacturing system

*

CAD/CAM: computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing

 

CADD: computer-aided design and drafting

 

CAE: computer-aided engineering

 

CAGD: computer-aided geometric design

 

CAI: computer-assisted instruction or computer-aided instruction

 

CalArts: California Institute of the Arts; abbreviated term acceptable only on second reference

 

Calcomp, Calcomp IGS-500, Calcomp 960 plotter

 

CALM: Common Assembly Language for Microprocessors

 

Caltech: California Institute of Technology

 

CAM: contact addressable memory

 

CAM-I: Computer-Aided Manufacturing International

 

Carnegie Mellon University: The Pittsburgh-based university removed the hyphen from its name in 1986.

 

Cartesian: initial capital

 

CASE: computer-aided software engineering

 

CASA/SME: Computer and Automated Systems Association of the Society of Mechanical Engineers

 

CAT: computer-aided testing (not "computerized axial tomography"); see CT

 

catalog (not catalogue)

 

CAVE: Cave Automatic Virtual Environment

 

CavernSoft: note internal cap

 

CBEMA: Computer Business Equipment Manufacturers Association

 

CCALI: Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction

 

CCD: charge-coupled device

 

CCIA: Computer and Communications Industry Association

 

CCITT: Comité Consultatif International de Télégraphique et Téléphonique (International Consultative Committee for Telegraphy and Telephony), a Geneva-based division of the International Telecommunications Union, a New York-based United Nations organization; rarely spelled out. Now ITU-T, see listing in the "I" section.

 

CDA: DEC's compound document architecture

 

CD-I: compact disc-interactive

 

CDMA: code division multiple access—a wireless communications technology

*

CD-ROM: compact-disc read-only memory; preferred spelling is with the hyphen

 

Cedar: a Xerox programming language

 

Cedex: a French postal pickup station, used in addresses

 

cel: clear acetate sheet onto which animators' drawings are traced and painted for photographing

 

cell phone

 

century: use symbol for ordinal numbers, for example, 20th century. Note: CMS spells out the century (twentieth century).

 

CerDIP: trademark name for a ceramic dual in-line package

*

CERN: Centre Européen des Recherches Nucléaires (European Center for Nuclear Research)

 

CERT Coordination Center: CERT/CC, a center of Internet security expertise, located at the Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University

 

CGA: color graphics adapter (or array); an IBM color-display standard allowing eight colors

 

CGI: common gateway interface

 

CGS: Computer Graphics Society

 

CHI: The annual Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. Don't spell this out in Pervasive Computing

 

child: one of several family words used to describe relationships among nodes in databases; the terms are legitimate—don't edit them out

 

chipmaker, chipset

 

CHMOS: Intel's CMOS

 

CIDR: classless interdomain routing

 

CIE: International Commission on Illumination (Commission Internationale de l'Eclairage)

 

CIELUV: perceptually based color space

 

CIM: computer-integrated manufacturing

 

ciphertext: no hyphen; i not y

 

CIPS: Canadian Information Processing Society

 

CISC: complex-instruction-set computing

 

CLB: configurable logic block

 

cleanroom: a software development approach aimed at producing software with the minimum number of errors

 

cleanup (n, adj), clean up (v)

 

cleartext (n)

 

client-server: use hyphen, not slash

 

clk: clock

 

clock cycle: the time it takes the CPU to fetch and execute an instruction; do not substitute clock

 

closed-loop (adj)

 

(the) cloud; cloud computing

 

CLUT: color lookup table

 

CMM: Capability Maturity Model, Levels 1–5. Don't spell this out in Software.

*

CMOS: complementary metal-oxide semiconductor

 

co-: Compounds formed with this prefix are generally not hyphenated. Exceptions are compounds that result in a double o (co-op, co-official) and a compound such as co-edition that could be confusing or suggests infelicitous reading. However, this does not apply to words such as coincidence or cooperate where the first two letters, through long-standing use, are viewed more as an integral part of the word than as prefixes. See Webster's and CMS 7.85, Table 4, for other examples.

 

Co.: abbreviated when used in text as part of a company name; avoid using unless a company's name might not be clear without it, for example, Data Co.

 

Cobol: Common Business-Oriented Language; Cobol on all references

 

CoCom: an informal abbreviation for Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Expert Controls

*

Cocomo: Cost Constructive Model, a project-estimation system developed by Barry Boehm

 

Codasyl: Conference on Data Systems Languages, an obsolete organization devoted to developing a universal data system language for business; active from 1959 to about 1971

 

code base

 

codesign; hardware-software codesign

 

Codiac: centralized operation deterministic interface access control

 

colocate: locate together, as in putting two things close together to share common facilities

 

COM: Component Object Model

 

compiler: a program that translates code in a high-level language into instructions a machine can execute

 

complex-instruction-set computing: also CISC

 

compute: resist the tendency to use as an adjective or adverb. Use computationally intensive instead of compute-intensive and computation server instead of compute server.

 

Computer (magazine): not IEEE Computer

 

computer games: Italicize the names of computer games but not the names of other types of games.

 

Computer Science Press: an imprint of W.H. Freeman; spell out the name to avoid confusion with CS Press.

 

Computer Society: Use the IEEE Computer Society on first reference; Computer Society without IEEE is acceptable on second reference. The executive staff often uses IEEE-CS in its official communications.

 

Computer Society publications: use IEEE CS in references

 

cooltown: A ubiquitous-computing initiative sponsored by Hewlett-Packard. Don't call it "CoolTown."

 

copyleft: a general method for making a software program free and requiring all modified and extended versions of the program to be free software as well

 

copyright, ©: See the Copyrights, Trademarks, and Image Permissions section.

 

Corba: common object request broker architecture. Don't spell this out in Software.

 

Corp.: abbreviated when used in text as part of a company name; spelled out when used in a byline or biography. Generally used only if a company's name might not be clear without it, for example, Logic Corp.

 

Cosmic Cube: supercomputer at the University of Illinois

 

cost-effective: always hyphenated

*

COTS: commercial off-the-shelf

 

counter-: prefix, not hyphenated

 

Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences: an institute at New York University

 

CPA: Computer Press Association

 

CP/M, CP/M-86: two of many early operating systems

 

cpi: characters per inch

 

cpl: characters per line; spell it out

 

cps: characters per second, as in 125-cps printer

*

CPU: central processing unit; plural is CPUs

 

Cray-1, Cray-2, Cray X-MP/24, Cray X-MP/48, Cray-MP: parallel processors from Cray Research (now Cray Inc.)

 

CRM: customer relationship management

 

cross-assembler, cross-compiler: an assembler or compiler that assembles/ compiles code on one machine for use on another, normally incompatible, machine

 

crossbar (adj)

 

cross-hair cursor

 

cross section (n), cross-section (adj)

 

Crosstalk: communications software

 

cross validation (n), cross-validation (adj)

 

crowdfunding

 

crowdsource

*

CRT: cathode-ray tube; acceptable on first reference; use VDT when talking about video displays in general

 

CS: informal acronym for IEEE Computer Society; rarely used alone in publications

 

CSCW: computer-supported cooperative work

 

CSE: computational science and engineering; also, "computer science and engineering"

 

CSG: constructive solid geometry

 

CSI: Computer Security Institute

 

CSIC: customer-specific integrated circuit; pronounced "seasick"

 

CSMA/CA: carrier sense multiple access with collision avoidance

 

 

CSnet: Computer Science Network. A network established to connect institutions that have Arpanet to each other and also to those that don't. Merged with Bitnet in 1989.

 

CS Press: no longer used except for books as of 2011; use IEEE CS in references to conference proceedings

 

CSS: Cascading Style Sheets; a style sheet language

*

CT: computerized tomography; a 3D-scanning technique (not CAT)

 

CUDA: (Compute Unified Device Architecture) Not commonly spelled out.

 

CURE: an algorithm

 

CUT: circuit under test

 

cyber: (adj.) relating to computers or computer networks

 

cyber- (prefix): cyberattack, cyberinfrastructure, cybersecurity, cyberworld