A Top-Level Categorization of Types of Granularity

A Top-Level Categorization of Types of Granularity

C. Maria Keet
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-324-1.ch005
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Multiple different understandings and uses exist of what granularity is and how to implement it, where the former influences success of the latter with regards to storing granular data and using granularity for automated reasoning over the data or information, such as granular querying for information retrieval. We propose taxonomy of types of granularity and discuss for each leaf type how the entities or instances relate within its granular level and between levels. Such distinctions give guidelines to a modeller to better distinguish between the types of granularity in the design phase and the software developer to improve on implementations of granularity. Moreover, these foundational semantics of granularity provide a basis from which to develop a comprehensive theory of granularity.
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To provide an overview of the state of the art, we have to take a two-pronged approach. First, we briefly consider the scope of disciplines where granularity has played an important role, which reveals implicitly the various approaches toward granularity and differences in emphases of aspects of granularity. Second, these approaches will be thoroughly analysed and illustrated with examples in the second subsection.

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