IEEE Computer Society Style Guide

pdf icon  Download the IEEE Computer Society 2014 Style Guide





G: giga; standard prefix meaning one billion


g: gravity (6-g acceleration; passengers in a BMW are exposed to 2 g); the gravitational notation, g, is often italicized to differentiate it from "g" for "gram" or "grams"


GaAs: gallium arsenide, a semiconducting material, like silicon, used for integrated circuits; spell out on first use


Game Boy; Game Boy Advance; GameCube




GB: gigabyte. Use Gbyte (instead of GB) or spell out.


Gbit: gigabit. Use Gbit or spell out.


Gbps: gigabits per second. Don't spell this out in Internet Computing.


GBps: gigabytes per second.


Gbyte: gigabyte. Examples: 25 Gbytes, 25-Gbyte memory


GEM: Digital Research's Graphics Environment Manager, an operating environment for MS-DOS PCs


general-purpose processors


genlock: to superimpose computer-generated graphics over videotaped images (from a camera, VCR, or VTR)


Georgia Tech


Gflops: gigaflops


GHz: gigahertz


GIF: graphic interchange format—an electronic file format


giga-: standard prefix meaning one billion


Gigabit Ethernet


GIGI: DEC's General Imaging Generator and Interpreter


GIGO: garbage in, garbage out


GIPS: billion instructions per second


GIS: geographic information system


GKS: Graphical Kernel System, an international graphics standard


GlobeCom: IEEE conference


GNP: gross national product


GNU: supports GNU Linux; GNU's not Unix




GOPS: giga operations per second


GPL: General Public License


GPRS: General Packet Radio Service


GPS: Global Positioning System; a constellation of 24 satellites used for navigation and precise geodetic position measurements


GPU: graphics processing (or processor) unit


graftal: an image constructed using parallel graph grammars to define complex objects


grandparent, grandmother, grandfather: a group of family words used to describe relationships among nodes in databases. The terms are legitimate—do not edit out. Use gender-neutral grandparent when possible.


grand challenge: a difficult problem at the leading edge of a computing field


Grappa: Java graph drawing package from AT&T


gray: not grey, except in quoted material


Gray code: binary sequence in which two contiguous numbers differ in only one bit; capitalize Gray because it is the inventor's name


gray scale (n), gray-scale (adj): for example, displayed in gray scale, a gray-scale display


grid; grid computing


GSM: Global System for Mobile Communications. Don't spell this out in Pervasive Computing.


GUI: graphical user interface


GW-Basic: Microsoft version of Basic for MS-DOS computers; BasicA is the IBM version





hacker: an expert who explores the details of programmable systems to stretch their capabilities


halfword: half a computer word


halftone: an image reproduced from a photo or similar original medium, comprising a series of lines arrayed in a screen, to facilitate sharp, clear printing of images when producing books. Also the preferred format for images in electronic text for camera-ready and other forms. A 100- to 110-line screen is best; lines per inch is the US unit of measure.


handheld (adj, n)


handshaking: identification protocol for modems


hard copy (n), hard-copy (adj)


hardwired: describes circuits with only wire and terminal connections, with no intervening switching (no resistors, inductors, or capacitors)


HarperBusiness, HarperCollins


HCI: human-computer interaction. Don't spell this out in Pervasive Computing.


HD (adj): high-definition


HDL: hardware description language—any language from a class of computer languages


HDTV: high-definition TV


head-mounted display




help desk


hertz: see Hz


Hewlett-Packard Laboratories: either HP Labs or HP is acceptable. Always use the hyphen when spelled out.


hexadecimal: A numbering system with a base of 16. "A" through "F" represent the decimal numbers 10 through 15.


HID: human interface device


hidden-line removal


hidden Markov model


hidden-surface algorithm


hidden-surface removal: In computer graphics, removing from the display the surfaces that ordinarily would be obscured by the rest of the object.


high level (n), high-level (adj)


high-performance computing


high-speed (adj): For example, high-speed computing, high-speed switch; but very high speed switch; also, International Journal of High Speed Computing.




Hippi: high-performance parallel interface; also written as HiPPI and HIPPI—be prepared to negotiate


hither, yon: In computer graphics, the near and far clipping planes.


HMM: hidden Markov model






HPC: high-performance computing


HPCwire: An online weekly publication about high-performance computing. Paper copy does not exist. Italicize it as with the name of any periodical.


HPGL: Hewlett-Packard Graphics Language


HTML: Hypertext Markup Language


HTTP: Hypertext Transfer Protocol; in Web addresses, use lowercase—http://


HVAC: heating, ventilation, and air conditioning; always spell out


hyper- (prefix): not hyphenated when used to form a compound


hypercube: a parallel computer architecture


hyphenation: If you can't resolve a hyphenation question by consulting Webster's, review CMS 7.77-7.85. If you feel a word that technically doesn't require hyphenation (for example, reallocate) might be confusing, consider hyphenating it.


Hz: hertz; the standard term for cycles per second







IAB: Internet Architecture Board


IAMA: Internet Assigned Members Authority


IANA: Internet Assigned Numbers Authority


IAP: Internet access provider


IBE: identity-based encryption


IBM: International Business Machines Corporation; sometimes informally referred to as "Big Blue"


IBM 3740-formatted disk, IBM 370-type controllers (note hyphenation)


IBM PC, IBM PC AT, IBM PC XT, IBM RT PC, IBM PS/2 (Models 25, 30, 50, 60, and 80): no hyphens. IBM PC AT-compatible (adj).


IBM System/360, IBM System/370: IBM mainframes


IBM T.J. Watson Research Center


IC: integrated circuit; acceptable on first reference if context warrants


ICANN: Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers


ICASE: Institute for Computer Applications in Science and Engineering, at NASA's Langley Research Center


ICCC: International Council for Computer Communication, Washington, D.C.


ICOT: Japan's Institute of New Generation Computer Technology, the so-called Fifth Generation project. The initials refer to the Japanese transliteration of the program, not the English translation.


ICQ: an instant-messaging program


ICT: information and communications technology


ID: identification


IDC: formerly International Data Corp.




IDE: integrated drive electronics; also, integrated development environment. Don't spell this out in Software when it means the latter.


IDL: Interface Definition Language


i.e.: that is—spell out; accept in Transactions if authors insist


IEC: International Electrotechnical Commission—an international standards organization


IEE: Institution of Electrical Engineers, UK; as of May 2006, renamed as Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET)—merged with Institution of Incorporated Engineers


IEEE 488 bus


IEEE: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers; when used to refer to the publisher of a document, it's no longer IEEE Press—just IEEE.


IESG: Internet Engineering Steering Group


IET: Institution of Engineering and Technology, formerly IEE (see above)


IETF: Internet Engineering Task Force


IFIP: International Federation for Information Processing


IGES: International Graphics Exchange Standard


iff: if and only if—spell out; accept in Transactions if authors use it




IIL: integrated interconnection logic


-ility, -ilities: This is a Software-related term. On its first appearance in an article, use quotes ("-ilities") but no italics. On subsequent appearances, drop the quotes but keep the hyphen.


Illiac IV: An early computer, retired from NASA use at Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., in 1985


IMACS: International Association for Mathematics and Computers in Simulation


i-mode: a wireless service


IMP: interface-message processor




Inc.: abbreviate when used in text as part of a company name, but avoid using it unless a company's name might not be clear without it (Lisp Inc.); no longer set off with a comma


inches: Whether you use symbols or spell them out, be consistent when describing dimensions—for example, three inches by five inches or 3? ´ 5?. See also the Numbers and Symbols section.


indexes: use indices in mathematical contexts


informatics: a term often used to refer to computer science


Information Age


INFORMS: the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences; formed in 1995 when the Operations Research Society of America (ORSA) merged with the Institute of Management Sciences (IMS)




in-house (adj.)


ink-jet printers


inline (adj)


input/output: I/O


in queue: hyphenate when using as an adjective (an in-queue directory)


INRIA: Institut National de Récherche en Informatique et en Automatique (French National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control)


in-service (adj)


INSPEC: Information Services for Physics, Electronics, and Computing, an IEE (UK) database of English-language research papers. Not a true acronym, but handle as one.


integrated circuit: IC is acceptable on first reference


Intel's XScale processor


International standard: use ISO standard


Internet: normally "the Internet"; Internet 2


Internet Stream Protocol: ST


intranet: internal network


I/O (n, adj): input/output


IOP: Internetworking Operating System


IoT: Internet of Things


IP: Internet Protocol; intellectual property


iPhone: acceptable at the beginning of a sentence.


iPSC: parallel processor from Intel


IPsec: Internet Protocol security


IPv6: Internet Protocol version 6


IPX: internetwork packet exchange


IR: infrared. Don't spell this out in Pervasive Computing.


IrDA: Infrared Data Association. Don't spell this out in Pervasive Computing.


IRDS: information-resource dictionary system, a de facto CASE standard


IRQ: interrupt request


ISAM: indexed sequential access method


iSBX bus: product of Intel


ISDN: Integrated Services Digital Network, a telecommunications service


ISM band: Industry, Science, Medicine band


ISMM: International Society of Mini- and Microcomputers


ISO: International Organization for Standardization (ISO); use ISO when referring to standards (for example, ISO 9000 or "an ISO standard"), but use the entire name with the letters in parentheses when referring to the organization. ISO was originally a true acronym for the International Standards Organization, but the name has been changed and the letters are now only an identifier. Don't spell this out in Software.


ISP: Internet service provider


italics: Use sparingly for emphasis or to introduce new terms; use also for foreign expressions not commonly accepted in English (that is, not found in the main body of Webster's), single-letter variables, longer variables that might be confused with text if not in italics, book titles (includes manuals), movie titles, and TV-series titles.


IT: information technology


ITC: International Test Conference


item set; some publications use itemset


iterator (n): a programmed action that sets up a counter to control the number of times the action is performed


ith: note no space, no hyphen, no superscript


ITU-T: International Telecommunication Union-Telecommunication Standardization Sector; formerly, CCITT