HP Labs Technical Reports

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Measurement Data (Archive Report)

Kent, William; Janowski, Stephanie Leichner; Hamilton, Bruce; Hepner, Dan


Keyword(s): measurement, dimensioned data, dimensional analysis, units, units conversion, data types

Abstract: Dimensional analysis does not adequately model the semantics of measurement data. Distinct concepts such as work and torque are treated as equivalent, while sensibly related concepts such as quantities expressed by weight or volume (tons and bushels of wheat) are rendered incompatible. Dimensional analysis provides no adequate treatment of dimensionless quantities, nor does it differentiate between such concepts as circular angles and rotational angles, or temperature points and temperature intervals. This is an archival status report on an investigation into these and related matters which had been suspended after three years of intermittent effort.

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