Determining the preferred representation of temporal constraints in conceptual models

Keet, C. Maria and Berman, Sonia (2017) Determining the preferred representation of temporal constraints in conceptual models, Proceedings of 36th International Conference on Conceptual Modeling (ER'17), 6-9 Nov 2017, Valencia, Spain, 10650, 437-450, Springer.

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The need for expressing temporal constraints in conceptual models is well-known, but it is unclear which representation is preferred and what would be easier to understand by modellers. We assessed five different modes of representing temporal constraints, being the formal semantics, Description logics notation, a coding-style notation, temporal EER diagrams, and (pseudo-)natural language sentences. The same information was presented to 15 participants in an experimental evaluation. Principally, it showed that 1) there was a clear preference for diagrams and natural language versus a dislike for other representations; 2) diagrams were preferred for simple constraints, but the natural language rendering was preferred for more complex temporal constraints; and 3) a multi-modal modelling tool will be needed for the data analysis stage to be effective.

Item Type: Conference paper
Uncontrolled Keywords: conceptual modelling, controlled natural language
Subjects: Information systems > Data management systems
Alternate Locations:,
Date Deposited: 18 Jan 2018
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2019 15:31

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