A conceptual data model for an information system specifies the fact structures of interest as well as the constraints and derivation rules that apply to the business domain being modeled. The languages for specifying these models may be graphical or textual, and may be based upon approaches such as Entity Relationship modeling, class diagramming in the Unified Modeling Language, fact orientation (e.g. Object-Role Modeling), Semantic Web modeling (e.g. the Web Ontology Language), or deductive databases (e.g. datalog). Although sharing many aspects in common, these languages also differ in fundamental ways which impact not only how, but which, aspects of a business domain may be specified. This paper provides a logical analysis and critical comparison of how such modeling languages deal with three main structural aspects: the entity/value distinction; existential facts; and entity reference schemes. The analysis has practical implications for modeling within a specific language and for transforming between languages.


Unify Modeling Language Resource Description Framework Object Constraint Language Definite Description Business Domain 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Terry Halpin
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.LogicBloxAustralia
  2. 2.INTI International UniversityMalaysia

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