Ontological foundations for structural conceptual models

G. Guizzardi, Giancarlo Guizzardi

    Abstract

    The main objective of this thesis is to contribute to the theory of Conceptual Modeling by proposing ontological foundations for structural conceptual models. Conceptual Modeling is a discipline of great importance to several areas in Computer Science. Its main objective is concerned with identifying, analyzing and describing the essential concepts and constraints of a universe of discourse, with the help of a (diagrammatic) modeling language that is based on a set of basic modeling concepts (forming a metamodel). In this thesis, we show how conceptual modeling languages can be evaluated and (re)designed with the purpose of improving their ontological adequacy. In simple terms, ontological adequacy is a measure of how close the models produced using a modeling language are to the situations in the reality they are supposed to represent. The thesis starts by proposing a systematic evaluation method for comparing a metamodel of the concepts underlying a language to a reference ontology of the corresponding domain in reality. The focus of this thesis is on general conceptual modeling languages (as opposed to domain specific ones). Hence, the proposed reference ontology is a foundational (or upper-level) ontology. Moreover, since, it focuses on structural modeling aspects (as opposed to dynamic ones), this foundational ontology is an ontology of objects, their properties and relations, their parts, the roles they play, and the types they instantiate. The proposed ontology was developed by adapting and extending a number of theories coming, primarily, from formal ontology in philosophy, but also from cognitive science and linguistics. Once developed, every subtheory of the ontology is used in the creation of methodological tools (e.g., modeling profiles, guidelines and design patterns). The expressiveness and relevance of these tools are shown throughout the thesis to solve some classical and recurrent conceptual modeling problems. Finally, the thesis demonstrates the applicability and usefulness of both the method and the proposed ontology by analyzing and extending a fragment of the Unified Modeling Language (UML) which deals with the construction of structural conceptual models.
    Original languageUndefined
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Twente
    Supervisors/Advisors
    • Ferreira Pires, Luis , Advisor
    • Supervisor
    • van Sinderen, Marten J., Advisor
    • Wieringa, Roelf J., Member
    • Vissers, C.A., Supervisor
    • Ferreira Pires, L., Supervisor
    • van Sinderen, M.J., Supervisor
    Sponsors
    Date of Award27 Oct 2005
    Place of PublicationEnschede
    Publisher
    Print ISBNs90-75176-81-3
    StatePublished - 27 Oct 2005

    Fingerprint

    Ontology
    Unified Modeling Language
    Linguistics
    Computer science
    Modeling languages

    Keywords

    • EWI-7146
    • METIS-224913
    • IR-50826

    Cite this

    Guizzardi, G., & Guizzardi, G. (2005). Ontological foundations for structural conceptual models Enschede: Telematica Instituut / CTIT
    Guizzardi, G. ; Guizzardi, Giancarlo. / Ontological foundations for structural conceptual models. Enschede : Telematica Instituut / CTIT, 2005. 416 p.
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    abstract = "The main objective of this thesis is to contribute to the theory of Conceptual Modeling by proposing ontological foundations for structural conceptual models. Conceptual Modeling is a discipline of great importance to several areas in Computer Science. Its main objective is concerned with identifying, analyzing and describing the essential concepts and constraints of a universe of discourse, with the help of a (diagrammatic) modeling language that is based on a set of basic modeling concepts (forming a metamodel). In this thesis, we show how conceptual modeling languages can be evaluated and (re)designed with the purpose of improving their ontological adequacy. In simple terms, ontological adequacy is a measure of how close the models produced using a modeling language are to the situations in the reality they are supposed to represent. The thesis starts by proposing a systematic evaluation method for comparing a metamodel of the concepts underlying a language to a reference ontology of the corresponding domain in reality. The focus of this thesis is on general conceptual modeling languages (as opposed to domain specific ones). Hence, the proposed reference ontology is a foundational (or upper-level) ontology. Moreover, since, it focuses on structural modeling aspects (as opposed to dynamic ones), this foundational ontology is an ontology of objects, their properties and relations, their parts, the roles they play, and the types they instantiate. The proposed ontology was developed by adapting and extending a number of theories coming, primarily, from formal ontology in philosophy, but also from cognitive science and linguistics. Once developed, every subtheory of the ontology is used in the creation of methodological tools (e.g., modeling profiles, guidelines and design patterns). The expressiveness and relevance of these tools are shown throughout the thesis to solve some classical and recurrent conceptual modeling problems. Finally, the thesis demonstrates the applicability and usefulness of both the method and the proposed ontology by analyzing and extending a fragment of the Unified Modeling Language (UML) which deals with the construction of structural conceptual models.",
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    author = "G. Guizzardi and Giancarlo Guizzardi",
    year = "2005",
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    isbn = "90-75176-81-3",
    publisher = "Telematica Instituut / CTIT",
    school = "University of Twente",

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    Guizzardi, G & Guizzardi, G 2005, 'Ontological foundations for structural conceptual models', University of Twente, Enschede.

    Ontological foundations for structural conceptual models. / Guizzardi, G.; Guizzardi, Giancarlo.

    Enschede : Telematica Instituut / CTIT, 2005. 416 p.

    Research output: ScientificPhD Thesis - Research UT, graduation UT

    TY - THES

    T1 - Ontological foundations for structural conceptual models

    AU - Guizzardi,G.

    AU - Guizzardi,Giancarlo

    PY - 2005/10/27

    Y1 - 2005/10/27

    N2 - The main objective of this thesis is to contribute to the theory of Conceptual Modeling by proposing ontological foundations for structural conceptual models. Conceptual Modeling is a discipline of great importance to several areas in Computer Science. Its main objective is concerned with identifying, analyzing and describing the essential concepts and constraints of a universe of discourse, with the help of a (diagrammatic) modeling language that is based on a set of basic modeling concepts (forming a metamodel). In this thesis, we show how conceptual modeling languages can be evaluated and (re)designed with the purpose of improving their ontological adequacy. In simple terms, ontological adequacy is a measure of how close the models produced using a modeling language are to the situations in the reality they are supposed to represent. The thesis starts by proposing a systematic evaluation method for comparing a metamodel of the concepts underlying a language to a reference ontology of the corresponding domain in reality. The focus of this thesis is on general conceptual modeling languages (as opposed to domain specific ones). Hence, the proposed reference ontology is a foundational (or upper-level) ontology. Moreover, since, it focuses on structural modeling aspects (as opposed to dynamic ones), this foundational ontology is an ontology of objects, their properties and relations, their parts, the roles they play, and the types they instantiate. The proposed ontology was developed by adapting and extending a number of theories coming, primarily, from formal ontology in philosophy, but also from cognitive science and linguistics. Once developed, every subtheory of the ontology is used in the creation of methodological tools (e.g., modeling profiles, guidelines and design patterns). The expressiveness and relevance of these tools are shown throughout the thesis to solve some classical and recurrent conceptual modeling problems. Finally, the thesis demonstrates the applicability and usefulness of both the method and the proposed ontology by analyzing and extending a fragment of the Unified Modeling Language (UML) which deals with the construction of structural conceptual models.

    AB - The main objective of this thesis is to contribute to the theory of Conceptual Modeling by proposing ontological foundations for structural conceptual models. Conceptual Modeling is a discipline of great importance to several areas in Computer Science. Its main objective is concerned with identifying, analyzing and describing the essential concepts and constraints of a universe of discourse, with the help of a (diagrammatic) modeling language that is based on a set of basic modeling concepts (forming a metamodel). In this thesis, we show how conceptual modeling languages can be evaluated and (re)designed with the purpose of improving their ontological adequacy. In simple terms, ontological adequacy is a measure of how close the models produced using a modeling language are to the situations in the reality they are supposed to represent. The thesis starts by proposing a systematic evaluation method for comparing a metamodel of the concepts underlying a language to a reference ontology of the corresponding domain in reality. The focus of this thesis is on general conceptual modeling languages (as opposed to domain specific ones). Hence, the proposed reference ontology is a foundational (or upper-level) ontology. Moreover, since, it focuses on structural modeling aspects (as opposed to dynamic ones), this foundational ontology is an ontology of objects, their properties and relations, their parts, the roles they play, and the types they instantiate. The proposed ontology was developed by adapting and extending a number of theories coming, primarily, from formal ontology in philosophy, but also from cognitive science and linguistics. Once developed, every subtheory of the ontology is used in the creation of methodological tools (e.g., modeling profiles, guidelines and design patterns). The expressiveness and relevance of these tools are shown throughout the thesis to solve some classical and recurrent conceptual modeling problems. Finally, the thesis demonstrates the applicability and usefulness of both the method and the proposed ontology by analyzing and extending a fragment of the Unified Modeling Language (UML) which deals with the construction of structural conceptual models.

    KW - EWI-7146

    KW - METIS-224913

    KW - IR-50826

    M3 - PhD Thesis - Research UT, graduation UT

    SN - 90-75176-81-3

    PB - Telematica Instituut / CTIT

    ER -

    Guizzardi G, Guizzardi G. Ontological foundations for structural conceptual models. Enschede: Telematica Instituut / CTIT, 2005. 416 p.