What’s the name of a number consisting of numbers separated by dot? [closed]

I have been looking for a term to deal with a seemingly common pattern where a string consists of numbers separated by a . to n levels deep.

A prime example is Semantic Versioning numbers which are comprised of three numbers wherein 1.0.0 > 0.1.0.

A project I am working on uses this pattern for identifiers for an n-level deep tree structure, such that 1 < 1.1 < 1.1.1 etc.

Is there a name for these strings? They aren’t decimals, and the names “dot separated numbers” or “dot separated values” get me nowhere because of the dot separated values spec for spreadsheets.


The general term you are looking for is hierarchical numbering system/scheme:

  • Hierarchical numbering consist of assigning a sequence of separated numbers (one number per level traversed) to identify uniquely an element in the tree.
  • The most common hierarchical numbering system is the decimal one.

This kind of numbering scheme (i.e. data type) is rather general: it can be used to identify headings and paragraphs in documents, but it can also identify a position in an org-chart, an XML node in an XML tree, or a WBS element in a work breakdown structure.

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