Lexicon and DOA: Dictionary of Acronyms


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Too many acronyms getting you down? Perhaps the CEJ DOA can help. If not, you may just be SOL. Here's the latest version so you'll be able to communicate clearly with the acronym crowd. Let us know your favorite acronyms for inclusion in the CEJ DOA.

Click here for the Virtual Lexicon (VR Glossary).

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.


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 – SGI’s 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.


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