Applying ontology-based rules to conceptual modeling: A reflection on modeling decision making

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Conceptual modeling represents a domain independently of implementation considerations for purposes of understanding the problem at hand and communicating about it. However, different people may construct different models given the same domain. Variations among correct models, while known and familiar in practice, have hardly been investigated in the literature. Their roots are in the decisions made during the modeling process, where modelers face the need to map reality into modeling constructs. This paper reports an empirical study whose aim is to explore model variations and in particular to examine possible directions for reducing them. Specifically, the study uses a multimethod research paradigm to examine the effect of applying ontology-based modeling rules on modeling decisions as reflected in resulting model variations. The findings of the study provide insights into the variations phenomenon, as well as to the application of ontology-based modeling rules.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)599-611
Number of pages13
JournalEuropean Journal of Information Systems
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2007


  • Conceptual modeling
  • Empirical study
  • Ontology
  • Variations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Information Systems
  • Library and Information Sciences
  • Information Systems and Management


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