Terms, definitions, and abbreviated terms

For the purpose of this document, the following definitions apply.

3.1 Terms and definitions

3.1.1 actor
person, an organization, or person acting on behalf of an organization
NOTE A specialization of the general term object.
3.1.2 attribute
unit of information within an entity, defined by a particular type or reference to a particular entity
NOTE There are three kinds of attributes: direct attributes, inverse attributes and derived attributes. direct attribute
scalar values or collections including Set (unordered, unique), List (ordered), or Array (ordered, sparse) as defined in [ISO 10303-11]
NOTE Similar to the term "field" in common programming languages. inverse attribute
unit of information defining queries for obtaining related data and enforcing referential integrity
NOTE Similar to the term "navigation property" in entity-relational programming frameworks. derived attribute
unit of information computed from other attributes using an expression defined in the schema constraints on attributes
data type restricting the values of attributes
NOTE The most general constraint is about the existence of attribute values. There are basically two types: mandatory and optional attributes. Values of mandatory attributes must be provided whereas values of optional attributes may be omitted.
NOTE For aggregation data types such as Set, List, or Array, the existence constraint is often refined by a minimal and maximal number of elements, which is also known as cardinality.
3.1.3 classification
categorization, the act of distributing things into classes or categories of the same type
3.1.4 constraint
restriction for a specified reason
NOTE A specialization of the general term control.
3.1.5 control
directive to meet specified requirements such as for scope, time, or cost
NOTE A specialization of the general term object.
3.1.6 dictionary
collection of words, terms or concepts, with their definition
3.1.7 element
tangible physical product that can be described by its shape representation, material representations, and other properties
NOTE A specialization of the general term product. element occurrence
element's position within the project coordinate system and its containment within the spatial structure
3.1.8 entity
class of information defined by common attributes and constraints as defined in [ISO 10303-11]
NOTE Similar to the term "class" in common programming languages but describing data structure only (not behavior such as methods).
3.1.9 external reference
link to information outside the data set, with direct relevance to the specific information the link originates from inside the data set
3.1.10 feature
parametric information and additional property information modifiying the shape representation of an element to which it applies
3.1.11 group
collection of information that fulfills a specified purpose
NOTE A specialization of the general term object.
3.1.12 identification
capability to find, retrieve, report, change, or delete specific instances without ambiguity
3.1.13 instance
occurrence of an entity
NOTE Similar to the term "instance of a class" in object oriented programming.
3.1.14 library
catalogue, database or holder of data, that is relevant to information in the data set
NOTE It is information referenced from an external source that is not copied into the data set.
3.1.15 model
a data set, governed by the structure of an underlying schema, to meet certain data requirements
NOTE  Information models and building information models are examples for a model. NOTE  In scope of this standard IFC models are populations of the IFC schema.
3.1.16 model view
subset of a schema, representing the data structure required to fullfil the data requirements within one or several exchange scenarios
NOTE  Beside being a subset of a schema, a model view (or model view definition) may also impose additional constraints to the population of the subset schema concept
rules on using a subset of the schema structure identified as a concept template to enable a certain functionality within the context of a concept root contained in a model view
NOTE  The utilization of material definitions for a paticular concept root representing a wall is an example of a concept. concept template
the specification of a subset of the schema structure to enable a certain unit of functionality
NOTE  The identification of the entities, attributes and constraints needed to express a material definition independently on how it is utilized later in the context of a wall is an example of a concept template. concept root
an entity of a schema used to assign concepts to describe the required functionality
NOTE  A root concept often describes a model element, such as wall, air outlet, construction task, or similar, that is the root of a graph of connected entities and attributes defining the specific information items required, such as geometry, material, breakdown structure, etc.
3.1.17 object
anything perceivable or conceivable that has a distinct existence, albeit not material object occurrence
characteristics of an object as an individual
NOTE Similar to "object", "instance", "individual" in other publications. object type
common characteristics shared by multiple object-occurrences
NOTE Similar to "class", "template", "type" in other publications.
3.1.18 process
object-occurrence located in time, indicating "when"
3.1.19 product
physical or conceptual object that occurs in space
NOTE It is specialization of the general term object.
3.1.20 project
encapsulation of related information for a particular purpose providing context for information contained within
NOTE Context information may include default measurement units or representation context and precision.
3.1.21 property
unit of information that is dynamically defined as a particular entity instance
NOTE Similar to "late-bound" or "run-time" in programming terminology. property occurrence
unit of information providing a value for a property identified by name property template
metadata for a property including name, description, and data type
NOTE Similar in concept to "extension property" in common programming languages. property set occurrence
unit of information containing a set of property occurrences, each having a unique name within the property set property set template
set of property templates serving a common purpose and having applicability to objects of a particular entity
NOTE Similar in concept to "extension class" in common programming languages.
3.1.22 proxy
object that does not hold a specific object type information
NOTE a specialization of object occurrence.
3.1.23 quantity
measurement of a scope-based metric, specifically length, area, volume, weight, count, or time
3.1.24 relationship
unit of information describing an interaction between items
3.1.25 representation
unit of information describing how an object is displayed, such as physical shape or topology
3.1.26 resource
entity with limited availability such as materials, labor, or equipment
NOTE a specialization of the general term object.
NOTE the "resource definition data schemas" section is unrelated to this concept.
3.1.27 schema
the definition of the structure to organize data for storage, exchange and sharing, using a formal language
NOTE  The formal languages EXPRESS [ISO 10303-11] and XML Schema [W3C Recommendation] are currently used to define the schemata of this standard
3.1.28 space
area or volume bounded actually or theoretically
NOTE a specialization of the general term product.
3.1.29 type
basic information construct derived from a primitive, an enumeration, or a select of entities
NOTE Similar to the "Type" construct as defined in [ISO 10303-11].
NOTE Similar in concept to "typedef" or "value type" in common programming languages. select
construct that allows an attribute value to be one of multiple types or entities
NOTE Similar to the "Select" construct as defined in [ISO 10303-11].
NOTE Similar to a "marker interface" in common programming languages. enumeration
construct that allows an attribute value to be one of multiple predefined values identified by name
NOTE Similar to the "Enumeration" construct as defined in [ISO 10303-11].
NOTE Similar in concept to "enum" in common programming languages.

3.2 Abbreviated terms

AEC Architecture, Engineering, and Construction
AEC-FM Architecture, Engineering, Construction, and Facilities Management
BIM Building Information Modeling
GUID Globally Unique Identifier
IFC Industry Foundation Classes
IFD International Framework for Dictionaries
MVD Model View Definition
SPF STEP Physical File
STEP STandard for the Exchange of Product data
URI Uniform Resource Identifier
UUID Universally Unique Identifier
XML Extensible Markup Language

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