Ontological Foundations for Conceptual Part-Whole Relations: The Case of Collectives and Their Parts

  • Giancarlo Guizzardi
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6741)


In a series of publications, we have employed ontological theories and principles to evaluate and improve the quality of conceptual modeling grammars and models. In this article, we advance this research program by conducting an ontological analysis to investigate the proper representation of types whose instances are collectives, as well as the representation of part-whole relations involving them. As a result, we provide an ontological interpretation for these notions, as well as modeling guidelines for their sound representation in conceptual modeling. Moreover, we present a precise qualification for the parthood relations of member-collective and subcollective-collective in terms of formal mereological theories of parthood, as well as in terms of the modal meta-properties of essential and inseparable parts.


ontological foundations for conceptual modeling part-whole relations representation of collectives 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giancarlo Guizzardi
    • 1
  1. 1.Ontology and Conceptual Modeling Research Group (NEMO)Federal University of Espírito Santo (UFES)Vitória (ES)Brazil

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