Representing composites in conceptual modeling

Graeme Shanks, Elizabeth Tansley, Ron Weber

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


A conceptual modeling approach used within database literature to represent composites like entity classes, object classes, relationship classes or associations is presented. It is found that when component things are combined into a larger composite thing, the composite always gains at least one property. One role of a conceptual model is to facilitate communication between user and modelers. It is concluded that the conceptual models use relationship classes or associations to represent composites and undermine the database maintainer's ability to understand the database.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-80
Number of pages4
JournalCommunications of the ACM
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2004

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