hierarchical classification system

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Noun1.hierarchical classification system - a classification system where entries are arranged based on some hierarchical structure
classification system - a system for classifying things
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The NAICS is a six-digit hierarchical classification system that identifies 1,170 industries (compared to 1,004 in the SIC) and divides these industries into 20 sectors (compared to 10 in the SIC).
NAICS consists of a six-digit hierarchical classification system and identifies 1,170 industries, compared to the 1,004 industries recognized in the four-digit SIC system.

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