Are Conceptual Models Concept Models?

  • Chris Partridge
  • Cesar Gonzalez-Perez
  • Brian Henderson-Sellers
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8217)


The conceptual modelling community not only has no clear, general agreement on what its models model, it also has no clear picture of what the available options and their implications are. One common claim is that models represent concepts, but there is no clear articulation of what the concepts are. This creates theoretical problems; for example, it is difficult to justify the accuracy of meta-models. It also creates practical problems; practitioners building a model of the ‘concept’ of a business will rationalise their decisions differently from those modelling the business itself, making resolving disagreement difficult. In contrast, philosophy has been researching this area for millennia and has developed, at the high level, a clear picture of the semantic landscape, particularly for concepts. This presents an opportunity to provide the conceptual modelling community with a ready-made framework for its semantic options. We start exploiting this opportunity, developing here an initial framework.


concepts modelling philosophy semantics ontology representation meaning type nominalism abstract object nominalism 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chris Partridge
    • 1
  • Cesar Gonzalez-Perez
    • 2
  • Brian Henderson-Sellers
    • 3
  1. 1.Brunel UniversityUxbridgeUnited Kingdom
  2. 2.Institute of Heritage Sciences (Incipit)Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)Santiago de CompostelaSpain
  3. 3.Faculty of Engineering and Information TechnologyUniversity of TechnologySydneyAustralia

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