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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The design of semantic database model SDBM Xie, Linchi


This thesis is mainly concerned with semantic data modelling related to database design. The domain of this research is restricted to general data modelling and the discussion is carried out at the conceptual level. The thesis assesses a number of serious modelling shortcomings of the conventional data models and reviews several basic principles and mechanisms developed in current semantic data modelling research. Based on these findings, the thesis identifies the inadequacy of the conceptualization of data modelling and develops the two-view conceptualization of data modelling. The basic idea behind the two-view conceptualization is that the conceptual structure of the applications being modelled should be separated from its external data representation. A new semantic database model, SDBM, is designed based on the conceptualization. The model makes a clear separation between the conceptual structure and its external data representation. It offers a data type mechanism to deal with the data representation, a window mechanism to model the conceptual structure, and a transaction mechanism to provide database operations. One of the major extensions of the current semantic data models is that with SDBM the specialization relationship is just a special case of constraints that can be specified among SDBM windows. A formal syntax and informal semantics of SDBM are given in the thesis along with comparisons between SDBM and a closely-related semantic data model, Taxis.

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