Description Logics for Conceptual Data Modeling

Diego Calvanese, Maurizio Lenzerini, and Daniele Nardi

Logics for Databases and Information Systems. 1998.

The article aims at establishing a logical approach to class-based data modeling. After a discussion on class-based formalisms for data modeling, we introduce a family of logics, called Description Logics, which stem from research on Knowledge Representation in Artificial Intelligence. The logics of this family are particularly well suited for specifying data classes and relationships among classes, and are equipped with both formal semantics and inference mechanisms. We demonstrate that several popular data modeling formalisms, including the Entity-Relationship Model, and the most common variants of object-oriented data models, can be expressed in terms of specific logics of the family. For this purpose we use a unifying Description Logic, which incorporates all the features needed for the logical reformulation of the data models used in the various contexts. We also discuss the problem of devising reasoning procedures for the unifying formalism, and show that they provide valuable supports for several important data modeling activities.

   title = "Description Logics for Conceptual Data Modeling",
   year = "1998",
   author = "Diego Calvanese and Maurizio Lenzerini and Daniele Nardi",
   editor = "Jan Chomicki and Günter Saake",
   booktitle = "Logics for Databases and Information Systems",
   pages = "229--263",
   publisher = "Kluwer Academic Publisher",
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