Inheritance graph hierarchy construction using rectangular decomposition of a binary relation and designer feedback

  • Mohamed M. Gammoud
  • Jerônimo D. Mendes
  • Wilson S. Pinto
Session 7a: Theoretical Issues in Modeling
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 1331)


Inheritance is the main theme of schema design for the object-oriented software and object oriented database [10]. It supports class hierarchy design and capture the is-a relationship between a class and its superclass. Obviously, the designer needs tools to assist him to define his conceptual schema. However, very few approaches attempt to provide methods and tools for designing inheritance graph in object databases [29], and object software [1]. In this paper, we propose a semi-automatic method for generating inheritance graph hierarchy. This method is semi-automatic because it takes into account the feedback of the designer based on his expertise. It has a sound mathematical foundation and allows us to obtain a number of classes less than methods which uses Galois Lattice as a support to generate class hierarchy. Steps of our method are : (i) From a binary relation which represents the links between classes and their properties and methods, some heuristics generate a set of Optimal Rectangles (OR: group of classes which share the same properties and methods). (ii) The set of OR is organised by a partial order relation into a Brut Inheritance Graph (BIG). (iii) BIG is simplified and shown to the designer. (iv) The designer can modify, add or remove classes, attributes or methods in the binary relation and activates steps (ii) and (iii) until he obtains a proper class hierarchy or an Optimal Inheritance Graph.


Conceptual Schema Class Inheritance Graph Hierarchy Binary Relation Rectangular Decomposition Optimal Rectangle 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mohamed M. Gammoud
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jerônimo D. Mendes
    • 1
  • Wilson S. Pinto
    • 1
  1. 1.DEEE/CT, Grupo de Ciência da ComputaçãoUniversidade Federal do MaranhãoSão Luís - MA
  2. 2.Departement of Computer Science, Campus UniversitaireTunis University, Faculty of SciencesTunisTunisia

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