Enriched Conceptualization of Subtyping

Enriched Conceptualization of Subtyping

Terry Halpin (Neumont University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-278-7.ch001
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Abstract

When modeling information systems, one often encounters subtyping aspects of the business domain that can prove challenging to implement in either relational databases or object-oriented code. In practice, some of these aspects are often handled incorrectly. This chapter examines a number of subtyping issues that require special attention (e.g. derivation options, subtype rigidity, subtype migration), and discusses how to model them conceptually. Because of its richer semantics, the main graphic notation used is that of second generation Object-Role Modeling (ORM 2). However, the main ideas could be adapted for UML and ER, so these are also included in the discussion. A basic implementation of the proposed approach has been prototyped in Neumont ORM Architect (NORMA), an open-source tool supporting ORM 2.
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Basic Subtyping And The Need For Derivation Rules

Figure 1(a) shows a simple case of subtyping in ORM 2 notation. Patients are identified by their patient numbers and have their gender recorded. Patient is specialized into MalePatient and FemalePatient. Pregnancy counts are recorded for, and only for, female patients. Prostate status is recorded only for male patients. In ORM 2, object types (e.g. Patient) are depicted as named, soft rectangles. A logical predicate is depicted as a named sequence of role boxes, each connected by a line to the object type whose instances may play that role. The combination of a predicate and its object types is a fact type—the only data structure in ORM (relationships are used instead of attributes). If an object type is identified by a simple fact type (e.g. Gender has GenderCode) this may be abbreviated by placing the reference mode in parentheses.

Figure 1.

Partitioning patient into subtypes in (a) ORM, (b) UML, and (c) Barker ER

A bar spanning one or more roles depicts a uniqueness constraint over those roles (e.g. Each Patient has at most one Gender). A large dot depicts a mandatory constraint (e.g. Each Patient has some Gender). The circled dot with a cross through it depicts an exclusive-or constraint (Each Patient is a MalePatient or is a FemalePatient but not both). Overviews of ORM may be found in Halpin (2005b, 2006, 2007), a detailed treatment in Halpin & Morgan (2008), and a metamodel comparison between ORM, ER, and UML in Halpin (2004). Various dialects of ORM exist, for example Natural language Information Analysis Method (NIAM) (Wintraecken, 1990) and the Predicator Set Model (PSM) (ter Hofstede et al., 1993).

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Table of Contents
Chapter 1
Terry Halpin
When modeling information systems, one often encounters subtyping aspects of the business domain that can prove challenging to implement in either... Sample PDF
Enriched Conceptualization of Subtyping
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Chapter 2
Alessandro Artale, C. Maria Keet
This chapter focuses on formally representing life cycle semantics of part-whole relations in conceptual data models by utilizing the temporal... Sample PDF
Essential, Mandatory, and Shared Parts in Conceptual Data Models
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Chapter 3
Peter Bollen
In this chapter the authors extend the ORM conceptual modeling language with constructs for capturing the relevant parts of an application ontology... Sample PDF
Extending the ORM Conceptual Schema Language and Design Procedure with Modeling Constructs for Capturing the Domain Ontology
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Chapter 4
Janis Stirna, Anne Persson
This chapter presents experiences and reflections from using the EKD Enterprise Modeling method in a number of European organizations. The EKD... Sample PDF
EKD: An Enterprise Modeling Approach to Support Creativity and Quality in Information Systems and Business Development
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Chapter 5
Anders Carstensen, Lennart Holmberg, Kurt Sandkuhl, Janis Stirna
This chapter discusses how an Enterprise Modeling approach, namely C3S3P1, has been applied in an automotive supplier company. The chapter... Sample PDF
Integrated Requirement and Solution Modeling: An Approach Based on Enterprise Models
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Chapter 6
John Krogstie, Frank Lillehagen
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Methodologies for Active Knowledge Modeling
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Chapter 7
Peretz Shoval, Mark Last, Avihai Yampolsky
In the analysis phase of the information system development, the user requirements are studied, and analysis models are created. In most UML-based... Sample PDF
Data Modeling and Functional Modeling: Examining the Preferred Order of Using UML Class Diagrams and Use Cases
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Chapter 8
Mauri Leppänen
A large number of strategies, approaches, meta models, techniques and procedures have been suggested to support method engineering (ME). Most of... Sample PDF
OntoFrame: An Ontological Framework for Method Engineering
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Chapter 9
Patrick van Bommel, Stijn Hoppenbrouwers, Erik Proper, Jeroen Roelofs
A process-oriented framework (QoMo) is presented that aims to further the study of analysis and support of processes for modeling. The framework is... Sample PDF
Concepts and Strategies for Quality of Modeling
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Chapter 10
John Erickson, Keng Siau
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Service Oriented Architecture: A Research Review from the Software and Applications Perspective
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Chapter 11
Vítor Estêvão Silva Souza, Ricardo de Almeida Falbo, Giancarlo Guizzardi
In the Web Engineering area, many methods and frameworks to support Web Information Systems (WISs) development have already been proposed.... Sample PDF
Designing Web Information Systems for a Framework-Based Construction
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Chapter 12
Tony Elliman, Tally Hatzakis, Alan Serrano
This paper discusses the idea that even though information systems development (ISD) approaches have long advocated the use of integrated... Sample PDF
Business Process Simulation: An Alternative Modelling Technique for the Information System Development Process
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Chapter 13
Leandro Dias da Silva, Elthon Allex da Silva Oliveira, Hyggo Almeida, Angelo Perkusich
In this chapter a formal agent based approach for the modeling and verification of intelligent information systems using Coloured Petri Nets is... Sample PDF
An Agent Based Formal Approach for Modeling and Verifying Integrated Intelligent Information Systems
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Chapter 14
Jan vom Brocke
With the design of reference models, an increase in the efficiency of information systems engineering is intended. This is expected to be achieved... Sample PDF
Design Principles for Reference Modelling: Reusing Information Models by Means of Aggregation, Specialisation, Instantiation and Analogy
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Chapter 15
Eleni Berki
Information systems development methodologies and associated CASE tools have been considered as cornerstones for building quality in an information... Sample PDF
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