This paper argues that different levels of mechanism topology should be considered in order to make the activity or tool of the computer comparison of mechanism topology more useful to support a whole design process of mechanisms. In this connection, four abstraction levels are identified to relate the different types of mechanism topology with reference to mechanism design tasks, processes or objectives. A new approach is developed to compare mechanism topology for all these levels. One of the ideas of this approach is to extend the existing incident degree code approach by identifying more features of mechanism topology and to define them into an extended code. This is further enhanced by an algorithm to perform permutation (without a need of exhaustive enumeration) within a group of vertices that have the same features. Examples are given to show how the approach works. Compared with some existing methods for mechanism topology identification, this approach is shown to be more effective and efficient.

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