# Numbering scheme

There are many different numbering schemes for assigning nominal numbers to entities. These generally require an agreed set of rules, or a central coordinator. The schemes can be considered to be examples of a primary key of a database management system table, whose table definitions require a database design.

In computability theory, the simplest numbering scheme is the assignment of natural numbers to a set of objects such as functions, rational numbers, graphs, or words in some language. A numbering can be used to transfer the idea of computability and related concepts, which are originally defined on the natural numbers using computable functions, to these different types of objects.

A simple extension is to assign cardinal numbers to physical objects according to the choice of some base of reference and of measurement units for counting or measuring these objects within a given precision. In such case, numbering is a kind of classification, i.e. assigning a numeric property to each object of the set to subdivide this set into related subsets forming a partition of the initial set, possibly infinite and not enumeratable using a single natural number for each class of the partition.

In some cases (such as computing, time-telling, and in some countries the numbering of floors in buildings) zero-based numbering is used, where the first entity is assigned "zero" instead of "one".

Other numbering schemes are listed by field below.