In MINC 1.0, group and var-attribute variables may be considered to exist in a tree-structured hierarchy. The base of the hierarchy is located at the rootvariable. This variable exists solely to form the base node of the hierarchy tree. The image, acquisition, patient, and study variables form the next layer of the hierarchy. Below the image variable are the image-min and image-max variables.
Other, non-standard variables may be added to this hierarchy as desired.
Because NetCDF is a non-hierarchical format, MINC uses a the parent and children attributes to implement this hierarchy. In actual practice, the MINC 1.0 format relies this hierarchy very loosely, if at all. However, MINC 2.0, being based on a fundamentally hierarchical format (HDF5), will use and extend this hierarchy.