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Modeling Techniques for Multi-Level Abstraction

Authors: B. Neumayr, M. Schrefl, B. Thalheim
Paper: Neum11a (2011)
Citation: Lois Delcambre, Roland Kaschek (eds.): The Evolution of Conceptual Modeling. Bookchapter, Springer Verlag, Lecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS) Vol. 6520, ISBN-13 978-3-642-17504-6, pp. 68-92, 2011.
Resources: Copy  (In order to obtain the copy please send an email with subject  Neum11a  to


Employing multi-level abstraction in modeling refers to representing objects at multiple levels of one or more abstraction hierarchies, mainly classification, aggregation and generalization. Multiple representation, however, leads to accidental complexity, complicating modeling and extension. Several modeling techniques, like powertypes, deep instantiation, materialization, m-objects, HERM, and the component model may be used to reduce unnecessary complexity with multi-level abstraction. This chapter compares these modeling techniques using four comparison criteria: (1) compactness (modular and redundancy-free models), (2) query °exibility (number and kind of pre-defined entry points for querying), (3) heterogeneous level-hierarchies, and (4) multiple relationship-abstractions (such as between relationship occurrence and relationship type).

Keywords:Multi-Level Modeling, Ontological Metamodeling, Deep Instantiation, Materialization, Powertypes, M-Objects