data hierarchy

Noun1.data hierarchy - an arrangement of data consisting of sets and subsets such that every subset of a set is of lower rank than the set
data hierarchy - The system of data objects which provide the methods for information storage and retrieval. Broadly, a data hierarchy may be considered to be either natural, which arises from the alphabet or syntax of the language in which the information is expressed, or machine, which reflects the facilities of the computer, both hardware and software.

A natural data hierarchy might consist of bits, characters, words, phrases, sentences, paragraphs, and chapters. One might use components bound to an application, such as field, record, and file, and these would ordinarily be further specified by having data descriptors such as name field, address field, etc. On the other hand, a machine or software system might use bit, byte, word, block, partition, channel, and port.

Programming languages often provide types or objects which can create data hierarchies of arbitrary complexity, thus allowing software system designers to model language structures described by the linguist to greater or lesser degree.

The distinction between the natural form of data and the facilities provided by the machine may be obscure, because users force their needs into the molds provided, and programmers change machine designs. As an example, the natural data type "character" and the machine type "byte" are often used interchangably, because the latter has evolved to meet the need of representing the former.
Data Driven Machine
data encryption
Data Encryption Algorithm
Data Encryption Key
Data Encryption Standard
data file
data flow
data flow analysis
Data Flow Diagram
data fork
data format
data formatting
data frame
Data General
Data General mN601
data glove
-- data hierarchy --
data input device
Data Interchange Standards Association
Data Jack
data link
Data Link Connection Identifier
data link layer
data link level
Data Link Provider Interface
Data Management Language
Data Manipulation Language
data mart
data mining
data model
data modeling
data modelling
data multiplexer
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