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M. Dahchour. Integrating Generic Relationships into Object Models Using Metaclasses. PhD thesis, Université catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, March 2001.

Abstract

Generic relationships are abstraction patterns for structuring information across application domains. They play a central role in information modeling. However, the state of the art of handling generic relationships leaves open a number of problems like the fact that some generic relationships may have different semantics among models, and that some generic relationships, considered as being important in some models, are just considered as special cases of already-defined relationships in other models. To address those problems, we define a set of dimensions or criteria according to which generic relationships can be characterized in a systematic, clear, and accurate way. To make them effectively available to modelers, generic relationships should be integrated into object languages and systems as primitives. For that, we define a set of requirements to be satisfied to better manage all kinds of relationships. We demonstrate that the metaclass approach is more suitable to deal with those requirements than other existing approaches. We, then, implement generic relationships along the lines of two kinds of object systems with metaclasses: Vodak, based on a procedural approach, and ConceptBase, based on a declarative approach.


Updated: 2017-03-27