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Representing part-whole relationships in conceptual modeling : an empirical evaluation

conference contribution
posted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by G Shanks, Elizabeth Tansley, J Nuredini, D Tobin, R Weber
The part-of or part-whole construct is a fundamental element of many conceptual modeling grammars that is used to associate one thing (a component) with another thing (a composite). Substantive theoretical issues surrounding the part-whole construct remain to be resolved, however. For instance, contrary to widespread claims, the relationship between components and composites is not always transitive. Moreover, how the part-whole construct should be represented in a conceptual schema diagram remains a contentious issue. Some analysts argue composites should be represented as a relationship or association. Others argue they should be represented as an entity. In this paper we use an ontological theory to support our arguments that composites should be represented as entities and not relationships or associations. We also describe an experiment that we undertook to test whether representing composites as relationships or entities enables users to understand a domain better. Our results support our arguments that using entities to represent composites enables users to better understand a domain.

Funding

Category 1 - Australian Competitive Grants (this includes ARC, NHMRC)

History

Start Page

89

End Page

100

Number of Pages

12

Start Date

01/01/2002

ISBN-13

9781615670208

Location

Barcelona, Spain

Publisher

The Conference

Place of Publication

Online

Peer Reviewed

Yes

Open Access

No

External Author Affiliations

Faculty of Informatics and Communication; University of Melbourne; University of Queensland;

Era Eligible

No

Name of Conference

International Conference on Information Systems