Lexicon and DOA: Dictionary of Acronyms
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2D Two dimensional.
3D Three dimensional
3G Third Generation. Often describing the third generation of cell-phone technology.
4D four dimensional. Usually refers to the three spatial dimensions plus time. Also infers animated or moving 3D images.
802.11 A wireless networking standard. Two varieties are common, B and G.
ACM - Association for Computing Machinery.
AGP Accelerated Graphics Port. A bus used to connect image generators in personal computers.
ANSI - American National Standards Institute.
ARPA - Advanced Research Projects Agency. Formerly DARPA (DefenseARPA). US DoD agency responsible for funding advanced research projects in many areas.
ARL Army Research Lab (US).
ARRC, ARRL - Advanced Robotics Research Center/Laboratory (UK). Home of important telerobotics and VR programs.
ASIC - Application Specific Integrated Circuit. A semi-generic, customizable chip. Used to lower the cost of custom silicon.
ATC Air Traffic Control.
CCTT - Close Combat Tactical Trainer, Army second generation virtual trainer. See SIMNET.
CG/CGI Computer Graphics/Computer Graphics Image.
CD, CD-ROM, CD-R, CD-RW Compact Disc, CD-Read Only Memory, CD-Recordable, CD-ReWriteable. Optical data storage formats and the devices that enable them.
CHI - Computer Human Interface.
CPU Central Processing Unit. The core of a computer.
CRT - Cathode Ray Tube. The display component of TVs and most computer monitors.
DARPA see ARPA.
DIS - Distributed Interactive Simulation. Communication protocol for military simulations.
DoD - Department of Defense (USA).
DOF - Degrees Of Freedom. Used to discuss motion.
DMSO - Defense Modeling and Simulation Office.
DSP - Digital Signal Processor. Used to process sound and other signal data.
DVD Digital Versatile Disc. An optical storage format superceding CD-ROM.
EFF - Electronic Frontiers Foundation. A group lobbying and working for freedom for electronic communications equivalent to that of other forms of communication.
ESA - European Space Agency.
FAA Federal Aviation Administration (US).
FCC Federal Communications Commission (US).
FCCSET - Federal Coordinating Committee for Science, Engineering and Technology (USA).
FEA Finite Element Analysis.
FFB - Force Feedback.
FLOPS - Floating Point Operations Per Second. A measure of computing power.
FOV Field of View. A characteristic of display systems.
FPS - Frames Per Second. A measure of computing and display performance.
GB GigaByte. One billion bytes, or characters. A measurement of memory and storage capacity.
GIS - Geographical Information Systems. Computerized maps and related programs and databases.
GL Graphics Language. A standard for specifying 3D objects for computer display.
GOPS - Giga (trillion) Operations Per Second. A measure of computing power.
HDTV - High Definition Television.
HF - Human Factors.
HIT Lab - Human Interface Technology Laboratory (HITL), at the University of Washington in Seattle, USA.
HLA High-level Architecture. A networked simulation standard used primarily in military simulation. Supercedes DIS and SIMMNET.
HMD - Head Mounted Display. Goggles.
HUD Heads-Up Display. A display shown on a transparent surface that allows data to be superimposed on a view of the real world. Typically not attached to the viewer.
Hz Hertz, cycles per second.
IEEE - Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineer.
IRIX SGIs proprietary version of UNIX.
ISA - Industry Standard Architecture. The expansion bus used in the original IBM-compatible personal computers. Obsolete.
IST - Institute for Simulation and Training, Orlando, Florida, USA.
JSC - Johnson Space Center, NASA's Houston (Texas, USA) headquarters.
JPL - Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California (USA).
LBE - Location Based Entertainment.
LCD - Liquid Crystal Display.
LED - Light Emitting Diode.
M&S Modeling and Simulation.
Mega FLOPS - Million Floating Point Instructions Per Second. A measure of computing power.
MgHz Megahertz, I million cycles per second.
MIDI - Musical Instrument Digital Interface. A technology for controlling instruments, and other sound producing devices, by computer.
MIPS - Millions of Instructions Per Second. A measure of computing power.
MIT - Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
MOD Ministry of Defense.
MPEG Motion Pictures Expert Group, A standards setting organization. Deals with the coding of multimedia information. Also MP3. MP4, later varations of MPEG standard.
NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Agency (USA).
NCGA - National Computer Graphics Association.
NSF - National Science Foundation (USA).
NPS - Naval Postgraduate School (USA).
OLED Organic Light-Emitting Diode. A flat, flexible display technology.
PCI Peripheral Component Interconnect. An bus used in personal computers to allow the addition of plug-in card peripherals. Superceded ISA.
PDA Personal Digital Assistant. A very small computer.
Pixel - Picture Element. The basic building block of a graphic display, and the unit in which display resolution is usually expressed.
Polys - Polygons, the basic building blocks of 3D models. Graphics performance for VR is often expressed in Polys per second.
POV - Point Of View.
PPS - Polygons (Polys) Per Second. Measurement of 3D graphics performance.
R&D Research and development.
RS-232 - Hardware standard for the transmission of data in a serial stream.
SCS - Society for Computer Simulation.
SGI - Silicon Graphics, Inc., a leading supplier of workstations used in VR.
SIGGRAPH - Special Interest Group, Graphics. A sub-group of ACM. Also, the annual conference of the same name.
SIMNET - Simulation Networking. A demonstration project and training system of the US DoD, Army and ARPA.
STRICOM Simulation, Training and Instrumentation Command. An agency of the US Army.
SVGA Super VGA. A display standard comprised of an 800 x 600 pixel display with millions of colors.
SXGA Super XGA. A display standard comprised of a 1280 x 1024 pixel display with millions of colors.
TB Terabyte: One trillion bytes, or characters. A measurement of memory and storage capacity.
TFB Tactile Feedback.
TFT- Thin Film Transistor. A component of high-performance LCDs.
UNC - University of North Carolina, USA. In the VR world, typically refers to the Chapel Hill campus, where the computer department has a major VR program.
USB Universal Serial Bus. A fast serial bus used in personal computers. For connecting external peripherals.
UNIX A computer operating system, originally developed by AT&T.
VGA Video Graphics Array. A display standard comprised of 640 x 480 pixels and tens of thousands of colors.
VizSim Visual simulation.
VR, VE, VW - Virtual Reality, Virtual Environments, Virtual Worlds.
XGA Extended Graphics Array. A display
standard comprised of 1024 by 768 pixels and millions of colors.