When entities are types: Effectively modeling type-instantiation relationships

Faiz Currim, Sudha Ram

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations


Type-instantiation relationships (TIRs) appear in many application domains including RFID-based inventory tracking, securities markets, health care, incident-response management, travel, advertising, and academia. For example an emergency response (type) is instantiated in the actual incident, or an advertisement (type) serves impressions on a website. This kind of relationship has received little attention in literature notwithstanding its ubiquity. Conventional modeling does not properly capture its underlying semantics. This can lead to data redundancy, denormalized relations and loss of knowledge about constraints during implementation. Our work formally defines and discusses the semantics of the type-instantiation relationship. We also present an analysis of how TIRs affect other relationships in a conceptual database schema, and the relational implications of our approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Conceptual Modeling - Applications and Challenges, ER 2010 Workshops ACM-L, CMLSA, CMS, DE@ER, FP-UML, SeCoGIS, WISM, Proceedings
Number of pages10
StatePublished - 2010
Event29th International Conference on Conceptual Modeling, ER 2010 - Vancouver, BC, Canada
Duration: Nov 1 2010Nov 4 2010

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume6413 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Other29th International Conference on Conceptual Modeling, ER 2010
CityVancouver, BC


  • data modeling
  • instantiation
  • materialization
  • relationships
  • typing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • General Computer Science


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