Disconnected and Overlapping Object Type Expressions

Fully Communication Oriented Information Modeling (FCO-IM) completely and exclusively models the communication about a certain universe of discourse (UoD). The essence of building an FCO-IM information model is classifying and qualifying fact expressions (user communication in the form of verbalizations of facts by domain experts). The result is metadata, stored as an FCO-IM information grammar (IG). A visual representation of this IG is an information grammar diagram (IGD), but this is just eye candy. We show how disconnected and overlapping object expressions remove a restriction we placed earlier on the form of these fact expressions. Since the communication reflects the mental concepts users have of their UoD, information models depend on these concepts. This leads us to tentatively present a classification of different kinds of semantic equivalence, and to conclude that metamodeling at its best is concerned with finding the most elegant concepts to describe a given UoD.

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A Shorter Algorithm for Determining Intra Fact Type Uniqueness Constraints

We present a general algorithm for determining all intra fact type uniqueness constraints in a fact type with n roles. For Fact Oriented Methods of information modeling that work with elementary fact types, a top-down ap-proach is shorter than a bottom-up approach for fact types with more than two roles. The algorithm is shorter (in terms of the number of tests to be performed) than the one published earlier in our book on FCO-IM. For its most important steps, we prove that no shorter algorithm exists.

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Automatic application development

This paper presents an architecture for defining models for application generation from the fact oriented point of view. We explain how to generate application components such as user interface parts, the database and the transactions. This requires a data use model that contains pragmatic aspects of the UoD, in addition to the usual data structure model, which contains the se-mantics of the UoD. The single point of definition of these models simplifies their validation by the domain expert and ensures their mutual correctness dur-ing the entire development phase. The infrastructure was implemented in a pro-totype tool, which supports the creation of the application metadata and gener-ates the application components. This prototype tool has an open repository. We are using it for further research in this area as well.

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A fact approach on data migration

The problem of migrating data is present in almost every application development process, such as datawarehousing and application integration. The process of migrating data involves firstly the mapping between the structures of the source and target databases and secondly the migration of the data from the source to the target. This paper presents an algorithm to implement this process. The algorithm is based on the idea that databases store meaningful facts, rather then instances of atomic data. The fact approach simplifies the algorithm and generalizes the problem of mapping and migrating data into the problem of mapping and migrating two kinds of facts: independent facts and dependent facts. The algorithm has been implemented in a prototype tool to prove the idea and for further research.

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A case study of recursive data modeling

In the programming area much attention is given to recursion, but this technique is hardly considered in the data modeling area. This paper discusses a case study about storing project data of a knowledge-based application called Quaestor, in which the modeling of a recursive data structure is the central issue. Data modeling methods such as entity-relationship modeling or object oriented modeling are not yet equipped with concepts for dealing with recursive data structures. Some fact oriented modeling methods however can deal with recursion. In this case study, Fully Communication Oriented Information Modeling (FCO-IM) is used to capture the complex identification problem of the recursive structure of Quaestor project data.

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Data modeling patterns

Data modeling patterns is an emerging field of research in the data modeling area. Its aims are to create a body of knowledge to help understand data modeling problems better and to create better data models. Current data modeling patterns are generally discussed at the instance level (only applicable in a specific domain, e.g. a business situation) and with an Entity-Relationship Modeling (ERM) way of thinking. This paper discusses data modeling patterns using the expressive power of Fully Communication Oriented Information Modeling (FCO-IM), a Dutch fact oriented modeling (FOM) method. We also consider more abstract higher level data patterns – meta level patterns – and describe a few basic meta level data modeling patterns in brief as well as a meta level pattern in content versioning.

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Integrated Toolsupport for Datawarehouse Design

In operational practice, datawarehouses are big corporate databases that are continuously under development. his implies a dynamic increase of the complexity of the data. For controlling this complexity, a conceptual model riven approach is recommended in order to guarantee that the relation to the business environment can be validated at ny moment. To keep maintainable the connection between the conceptual model and the logical/physical aspects of the atawarehouse and related data marts, bridges are needed that can provide the needed model-to-model conversion at ny desired moment. To achieve this, a bridge-toolset was designed and developed which is based on a single point of efinition metadata philosophy. The philosophy and the way of working were developed in a research project at HAN niversity in The Netherlands in co-operation with the Dutch system house Atos Origin to overcome datawarehouse ife cycle maintenance problems in the Royal Dutch Airlines (KLM).

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In this material are described:

  • The exported repository of FCO-IM grammar
  • The repository used to keep data about an Entity Relationship Model
  • Queries/Views against the exported repository of the FCO-IM grammar to retrieve the Entity Relationship Model

As an example, is taken the student case, which is found in FCO-IM book.

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The aim of this material is to put a starting step in building a bridge between FCO-IM Diagrams and Object Oriented Modeling Diagrams. FCO-IM is powerful method to perform data analysis in conceptual layer. For displaying the designed data model in Entity Relationship Diagrams or ERD is already an algorithm. Even though many semantics are lost during this transformation, again displaying the result of analysis in ERD is wise because it is better known between data modelers and database designers around. Several tools are present where this algorithm is implemented. Unified Programming Language or UML is gaining popularity nowadays and is becoming a standard in Object Oriented Modeling. UML is a composition of different diagrams: Activity Diagrams, Class Diagrams, Sequence Diagrams, State Diagrams, Use Case Diagrams.

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Fully Communication Oriented NIAM

The basic NIAM philosophy is: information analysis intends to model the communication about a certain Universe of Discourse (UoD) but does not intend to model the UoD itself. Consequently all existing elements in NIAM must be consistent with this philosophy. Furthermore NIAM must be extended with new elements, such as the complete redundancy free recording of the structure of the declarative sentences spoken by the user expressing (elementary) facts about the UoD. This implies the need to be able to model complex identification structures occurring in this communication. In this paper we present Fully Communication Oriented NIAM (FCO-NIAM) as a possible solution covering all the above-mentioned desirability's. We use a generic FCO-NIAM metagrammar (GenMG), which not only enables us to treat both FCO-NIAM and the Relational Model from a single point of view but also to design a simple CASE-tool architecture. This architecture allows the registration of information grammars (IG's) in these Data Models and the transformation of NIAM IG's into relational schemata including the sentence structures via simple updates in the population of the GenMG. Presently FCO-NIAM is both taught in college-level educations and used in practice on a broad scale in the Dutch NIAM-scene.

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Unificatie Objecttypen Feittypen

In moderne feittype-georiënteerde methoden voor informatie-analyse, zoals n-air nested NIAM (Nijssens Informatie Analyse Methode), wordt gebruik gemaakt van de mogelijkheid feiten te zien als objecten. Voor dit objectificeren van feiten, dat evenals het feitbegrip zelf een taalkundige grondslag heeft, gebruikt Nijssen ook wel de linguïstische term nominalisatie. In dit artikel wordt ook het objectbegrip voorzien van een betere linguïstische grondslag door alle niet-lexicale objecten in NIAM consequent te beschouwen als nominalisaties van feiten. Wij zien deze stap als de logische consequentie van de filosofie dat informatiemodellering niet de werkelijkheid zelf, maar de communicatie over de werkelijkheid beoogt te modelleren (communication oriented approach). Een belangrijk theoretisch en praktisch resultaat van deze zienswijze is een eenvoudige architectuur voor CASE-tools voor het vastleggen van NIAM-feitengrammatica's en het genereren van relationele schema's daaruit via database-operaties. Van didactisch belang is het simpele generieke gegevensmodel waartoe deze zienswijze leidt en waarvan niet alleen NIAM en het relationele model speciale gevallen zijn, maar ook andere informatiemodellen, zoals het binaire, het functionele, het semantische en het entity-relationship-model, die eruit ontstaan door het opleggen van daartoe geëigende beperkingsregels.
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