Aspects of data semantics: Names, species and complex physical objects

  • Ronald Stamper
Data Modelling
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 65)


Investigating the definition of administrative information systems in the LEGOL Project using legislation as experimental material, a new approach to data semantics is found necessary. The emphasis is upon the operations linking data to reality. The operations are performed in the Discourse System by people according to language norms, thus the social reality of natural language links the structures in the Formal System to the Object System. Data representing things in the real world may be regarded as subroutines in programs which people can interpret. This principle is being used to explore the possibility of a canonical data model based on an operational semantics. This is contrasted with other data models. To illustrate the principle, it is used to examine names and species, an aspect of the problem of universals and particulars. The results enable structures to be defined for the complex physical objects: collectives and systems. The use of an "alias" function to express the operational identity of entities with different representations is introduced.


Physical Object Semantic Model Operational Semantic Object System Problem Context 
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.


  1. 1.
    Stamper, R.K. "Physical Objects, Human Discourse and Formal Systems" in reference 5.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Klimbie, J.W. and Koffeman, K.L. (eds) Data Base Management, North-Holland, Amsterdam, 1974.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Nijssen, G.M. (ed) Data Base Description, North-Holland, 1975Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Nijssen, G.M. (ed) Modelling in Data Base Management Systems, North-Holland, Amsterdam, 1976Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Nijssen, G.M. (ed) Architecture and Models in Data Base Management, North-Holland, Amsterdam, 1977Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Senko, M.E. "The DDL in the Context of a Multilevel Structured Description: DIAM II with FORAL" in ref. 3.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Senko, M.E. et al "Data Structures and Accessing in Data Base Systems", IBM Systems Journal 1973, 12, 30–93Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Codd, E.F. Normalized Data Base Structure: a Brief Tutorial, IBM RJ935, November 1971.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Langefors, B. Theoretical Analysis of Information Systems, Auerback 1973 (4th Edition), Studentlitteratur, Sweden.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Langefors, B. & Sundgren, B. Information Systems Architecture, Petrocelli/Charter, New York, 1975.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Langefors, B. & Samuelson, K. Information and Data in Systems, Petrocelli/Charter, New York, 1976Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Stamper, R.K. "Towards a Semantic Model for the Analysis of Legislation", Informatica e Diritto (in press)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Lyons, J. Semantics Vol. I, Cambridge University Press, 1977Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Biller, H. & Neuhold, E.J. "Semantics of Data Bases: the Semantics of Data Models" Information Systems Vol. 3, No.1 pp11–30, 1978Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ronald Stamper
    • 1
  1. 1.London School of EconomicsLondon

Personalised recommendations