The Association Construct in Conceptual Modelling – An Analysis Using the Bunge Ontological Model

  • Joerg Evermann
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 3520)


Associations are a widely used construct of object-oriented languages. However, the meaning of associations for conceptual modelling of application domains remains unclear. This paper employs ontological analysis to first examine the software semantics of the association construct, and shows that they cannot be transferred to conceptual modelling. The paper then explores associations as ’semantic connections’ between objects and shows that this meaning cannot be transferred to conceptual modelling either.

As an alternative to the use of associations, the paper proposes using shared properties, a construct that is rooted directly in ontology. An example from a case study demonstrates how this is applied. The paper then shows an efficient implementation in object-oriented programming languages to maintain seamless transitions between analysis, design, and implementation.


Application Domain Association Class Ontological Concept Mutual Property Shared Property 
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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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joerg Evermann
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Information ManagementVictoria UniversityWellingtonNew Zealand

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