We investigate the category structure of categories common to conceptual modeling languages (i.e., the types used by languages such as actor, process, goal, or restriction) to study whether they more closely approximate a discrete or graded category. We do this for three distinct groups: students, beginning modelers and experienced modelers. We find that overall most categories exhibit more of a graded structure, with experienced modelers displaying this even more strongly than the other groups. We discuss the consequences of these results for (conceptual) modeling in general, and in particular argue that when a model contains graded categories, it should follow that the (conceptual) validity of instantiations of it should be judged in a graded fashion as well.


categorization conceptual modeling model semantics 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dirk van der Linden
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Henderik A. Proper
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Public Research Centre Henri TudorLuxembourgLuxembourg
  2. 2.Radboud University NijmegenNijmegenThe Netherlands
  3. 3.EE-TeamLuxembourgLuxembourg

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