IEEE Computer Society Style Guide

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DA: design automation


D/A: digital/analog


DAC: digital-analog converter; Design Automation Conference


DAG: directed acyclic graph; a data structure for representing computer graphics


daisy chain (n), daisy-chained (adj)




DAML: DARPA Agent Markup Language


DAML+OIL: DARPA Agent Markup Language + ontology inference layer; spell out on first use


DARPA: US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency


DASD: direct-access storage device


DASH: Design Aid Schematic Helpmate


data: Follow author preference for use as singular or plural, but maintain consistency within an article (unless context clearly demands inconsistency).


database, datacenter, datapath, dataset, datatype


data-entry (adj): as in data-entry switch


dataflow (n, adj)


data mining


Data General: The Westboro, Mass.-based company's products include Eclipse MV/8000, Eclipse MV/1000 superminicomputer, Eclipse S130, and GW/4000 graphics workstation.


daughter: One of several family words used in computer-based relationships. Although preferred usage is the gender-neutral "child," the term is legitimate; do not edit out.


Davic: Digital Audio Video Interactive Council


dB: decibels (40 dB)


dBase II, dBase III, dBase III+: database products produced by Ashton-Tate


DBMS: database management system; plural form is DBMSs


DC: direct current


DCE: Distributed Computing Environment


DCFL: direct coupled field-effect transistor logic


DCOM: Distributed Component Object Model


DCT: discrete cosine transform


DDL: document-description language


DDN: Defense Data Network


DDN PMO: Defense Data Network Program Management Office


DEC: Use Digital Equipment Corp. on first reference in text; DEC or Digital is acceptable for subsequent references.


DEC 10: The DEC 10 is the same computer as the PDP-10. Digital Equipment Corp. changed the name to DEC 10 around 1973.


decimals: See the Numbers and Symbols section.


decision maker (n), decision making (n), decision-making (adj)


DECnet: A Digital Equipment Corp. facilities' network




DECUS: Digital Equipment Corp. Users Society; absorbed into Encompass, an HP users group


deep-submicron (adj)


degrees: spell out in text when used as a unit of measure; educational degrees: see academic degrees; use symbol for temperatures


Denelcor: a defunct company famous for making the HEP, a parallel processor no longer in production


denial-of-service (adj): abbreviation is DoS


depth buffer: see z-buffer


DES: Data Encryption Standard


design by contract (n)




device-independent (adj): capable of making I/O requests without regard for the characteristics of I/O equipment


DFM: design for manufacturability


DFT: discrete Fourier transform; design for testability


DHCP: dynamic host configuration protocol


Dhrystone: a benchmark




dialog: as in dialog box


dialogue: a conversation. Be consistent regarding spelling if dialogue and dialog appear in proximity.


dial-up (adj)


Diffserv: differentiated services


Digital Equipment Corp.: spell out on first reference in text; use DEC or Digital for subsequent references


dimensions: Whether you spell out the term or use abbreviations, be consistent: 8 ft. ´ 5 ft. or eight feet by five feet. See the Numbers and Symbols section.


DIMM: dual inline memory module


DIP: dual in-line package; also, MiniDIP with no hyphen


disk: preferred, as in floppy disk; however, disc is the standard in optics, farming, and medical applications


display-list (adj)


Disspla: initial cap. only; product of Computer Associates Int'l


distributed computing system: A system in which storage and processing facilities are dispersed and loosely coupled by transmission media; also a system in which many processors perform a computation in parallel


DIVE: Distributed Interactive Virtual Environment


DLL: dynamic linked library


DMA: direct memory access


DNS: Domain Name System


doctorate: preferred over doctor's degree


DoD: Use Department of Defense on first reference; consider using Defense Department instead; add US if context isn't clear.


DoD-Std: Department of Defense standard; not the same as Mil-Std


DoE: Use Department of Energy on first reference; consider using Energy Department instead; add US if context isn't clear.


DOF: degrees of freedom


DOI: digital object identifier


DoJ: Use Department of Justice on first reference; consider using Justice Department instead; add US if context isn't clear.


DOM: document object model


DOS: disk operating system


DoS: see denial-of-service


dot-com: Internet-based business


dot matrix printer: no hyphen


double-buffer (adj): as in a double-buffer scheme


double buffering


download (v)


downtime (n)


DPA attack: differential power analysis


dpi: dots per inch


DPMA: Data Processing Management Association


DPMI: DOS protected-mode interface


DRAM: dynamic RAM (pronounced "dee-ram")


DRAM module: a group of dynamic RAM chips packaged together


DRM: digital rights management


DSL: digital subscriber line


DSP: digital signal processor (chips); digital signal processing (applications, systems). Don't spell this out in Pervasive Computing.


DSS: decision support system


DSSS: direct sequence spread spectrum


DTD: document type definition; an SGML term


DTF: dielectric thin film (filters)


DTR: data terminal ready


DUT: device under test


DVD: digital video disc or digital versatile disc


DXF: data exchange file (format)




E.: "east" in addresses


e-: prefix denoting "electronic," as in e-commerce, e-health, e-learning, e-publishing, e-science, but not in email. When using in an article title, capitalize the "e," but not the word following the hyphen, as in "E-commerce in Asia."


on Earth (planet), of the earth (soil)


EasyLiving: A ubiquitous-computing project of the Vision Group at Microsoft Research. Don't call it "easy living."




EBCDIC: extended binary-coded decimal-interchange code; compare with ASCII


ECC: error-correcting code


ECL: emitter-coupled logic


E/D: enhancement/depletion mode


EDI: electronic data interchange


editor in chief (n), editor-in-chief (adj): Editor in Chief Bill Smith; Bill Smith, the magazine's editor in chief; editor-in-chief position


EDSAC: Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Calculator


EDVAC: Electronic Discrete Variable Automatic Computer


Eeprom: electrically erasable programmable read-only memory


e.g.: exempli gratia; substitute such as or for example


EGA: extended graphics adapter or array; an IBM color-display standard allowing 16 colors


EIA: Electronic Industries Alliance


EIAJ: Electronic Industries Association of Japan


eigen-: prefix meaning "characteristic"


EISA: extended international standard architecture


Eispack: benchmark


EJB: Enterprise JavaBeans


E-JFET: n-channel enhancement mode junction field-effect transistor


electron beam (n), electron-beam (adj)


ellipsis: See the Punctuation section or CMS 13.48-13.56.


email: electronic mail; use curly brackets to list multiple persons at the same email address, for example, {jsmith, pjones, abrown}


EMS: Expanded Memory Specification; a standard developed by Lotus Development, Intel, Microsoft, and AST Research for configuring and addressing memory above the MS-DOS direct-address 640-Kbyte limit. Also known as LIM EMS, from the companies' names. AST became a development partner after the acronym was coined.


end-fire coupling


endpoint (n): use in a geometric context and when referring to networks; otherwise, use two words: end point



end user (n), end-user (adj): the ultimate user or customer. Use just user unless distinguishing different types of users, such as testing user, support user. Consider substituting customer.


ENIAC: Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer; an early-generation computer


Eprom: erasable programmable read-only memory


EPS: encapsulated PostScript


ERP: enterprise resource planning


Esprit: European Strategic Programme for Research and Development; retain the spelling of Programme


et al.: et alia; use for more than three authors in a bibliography, including a period after al.; okay to substitute and colleagues or and coauthors in text


etc.: et cetera; substitute and so forth or and so on


Ethernet: LAN technology; also, Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet


EU: European Union, formerly the European Community


euclidean: lowercase in most uses except when referring to the Euclidean algorithm


Euler: (pronounced "oiler;" takes an as its article); adjective describing a mathematical concept


Euler-Poincaré formula: a graphics algorithm


euro: European monetary unit


EuroASIC: European Conference on Application Specific Integrated Circuits


EuroDAC: European Design Automation Conference


European Federation of National Engineering Associations


EuroVHDL: European Conference on VHSIC Hardware Description Language


EUUG: European Unix Users Group; now known as EurOpen


Extensible Markup Language: XML; okay to use acronym on first use


Extreme Progamming (XP): not eXtreme Programming








fan-in, fan-out (n, adj): types of logic networks


fan in, fan out (v)




farad: unit of capacitance


Fastbus: an IEEE standard


Fast Ethernet


fast Fourier transform (FFT): (not hyphenated) decoding algorithm


father: One of several family words used to describe relationships among nodes in databases. Although preferred usage is the gender-neutral parent, both terms are legitimate; do not edit out.


fault tolerance (n), fault-tolerant (adj): a system's capability to keep executing in the presence of a limited number of faults


fax: document facsimile, document facsimile telecommunications equipment


FDDI: Fiber Distributed Data Interface


FDM: frequency-division multiplexing


FEA: finite-element analysis; also acronym for Fast Ethernet Alliance


Fellow: uppercase in "IEEE Fellow" and other similar titles; she's a fellow of IEEE


FEM: finite-element method


femtosecond: one quadrillionth of a second


FET: field-effect transistor; also occurs in combinations, such as MESFET


ff: femtofarad


FF: flip-flop; spell out in text


FFT: fast Fourier transform


Fhourstone: a benchmark


FHSS: frequency hopping spread spectrum


Fibre Channel: computer communications protocol for high-performance information transfer


fiber optic (n), fiber-optic (adj)


field testing (n); field-testing (adj, v); field-test (v)


FIFO (adj): first-in, first-out; for example, first-in, first-out accounting


filename: can be used as two words when not relevant to computers


file system


finite-element analysis


FIPA: Foundation for Intelligent Physical Agents


FIPS: federal information-processing standard


FIR: finite-length impulse response


FireWire: trademarked name for IEEE 1394, an external bus standard


fixed-bubble memory


fixed-length field


fixed point (n): notation in which the position of the point is fixed in relation to the numerals, according to some convention


fixed-point (adj): as in fixed-point arithmetic


fJ: femtojoule


Flash: proprietary Adobe software platform


flash memory


flat-panel display


Flex/32: system from Flexible Computer Corp.


flip-flop (n): circuit or device capable of assuming one of two states at a given time, abbreviated FF


flits: flow-control digits


floating point (n); floating-point (adj): notation in which the location of a point is not fixed but is regularly recalculated; the location is usually expressed as a power of the base




flops: floating-point operations per second; never flop, except when quoting the use of this incorrect form. For example, the 1993 Branscomb Report is titled "From Desktop to Teraflop ..." Don't change the title, but the report talks about building a teraflops, not teraflop, computer.




flow control (n), flow-control (adj): the sequence of operations performed in the execution of an algorithm






FOAF: Friend-of-a-Friend Protocol


focused, focusing


follow-up (n, adj), follow up (v)


footprint: loosely defined as the amount of space a machine takes on a surface (usually a floor or desktop) or as the system resources an application uses in a computer


foreign: Because the IEEE is an international society, "foreign" is not truly applicable in our publications when referring to nationalities; use "non-US" or "international" instead. Italicize terms that are not commonly accepted in English, but use such terms only when there is no suitable English equivalent. See the Non-English Words and Phrases section and CMS 7.49-7.53.


formulas: not formulae


Forth: a programming language


Fortran: for formula translator, a programming language; dialects include Fortran 77


FOTS: fiber-optics transmission system


FPGA: field-programmable gate array. Don't spell this out in Pervasive Computing.


fps: frames per second. Don't spell this out in Computer Graphics and Applications when the context is obvious.


fractions: Use slash notation (1/1000) for a general, rounded-off measurement; use decimals (0.001) for a specific, precise measurement. See the Numbers and Symbols section and appropriate sections in CMS.


frame buffer (n)


Free Software Foundation: supports GNU Linux


front end (n): usually refers to a small computer that serves as an interface between the host system and its peripherals


front-end (adj): as in front-end processing


FSM: finite-state machine


FTAM: file transfer and management


FTP: File Transfer Protocol


full-scale (adj)


full-screen (adj)


Futurebus (n): IEEE Standard 896 bus


fuzzy set (n), fuzzy-set (adj)