3361Re: [TaxoCoP] data modeling and taxonomy
- Jan 5, 2010Bob,
I agree with you and I already knew it, however I didn't want to complicate matters in my first response to Heather.
Apologies if the below will sound like a product plug. It is not intended as such, it is only intended to give you brief information on something that people seem to have an interest for and illustrate one of the approaches that exist.
As it happens, the set of models I am lead developer for (the IBM Insurance Information Warehouse - IIW, part of the IBM Industry Models product set) does have at its "conceptual" apex an ontology / taxonomy of business terms, relationships between these and a classification hierarchy. It is named the "Conceptual Model" (CM). It started originally - many years ago - as a flat glossary.
(I said "ontology / taxonomy" in the above because I'm not clear myself whether our CM does satisfy a full definition of "ontology"; for example as yet we have no mechanisms for making inferences).
All the elements in the downstream IIW data models (below the taxonomy) do have mappings back to terms / concepts and relationships in the CM taxonomy.
Also, the supporting toolset can generate a vocabulary / glossary from our CM that can be exported to the IBM InfoSphere Business Glossary product (part of the InfoSphere Metadata Server). From here it can be used as a reference vocabulary / glossary for other IBM products dealing with the data lifecycle (Information Analyzer, FastTrack, DataStage, QualityStage, Cognos).
I believe that, currently, IBM's Industry Models is the only product on the market that supports data models with an ontology / taxonomy in the same model set and maintains mappings between these. There might be other similar products out there, however I am not knowledgeable of any myself.
2010/1/4 Bob Bater <bbater@...>
I think Gabriel captures the overlap between data modelling and taxonomy precisely. My only comment would be that the missing component is an over-arching ontology which expresses the context of both data model and taxonomy.
A data modeler is expected to create blueprint designs (known as 'logical data models') for data structures that are then physically implemented in databases, for use by software application(s).
As part of logical data modeling a data modeler may create a generalization/specialization hierarchy of types (classes, entities), which - IMHO - is the area where data modeling and taxonomy meet most intensely.
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