Improving the Semantics of Conceptual-Modeling Grammars: A New Perspective on an Old Problem

Roger Clarke, Andrew Burton-Jones, Ron Weber

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

3 Citations (Scopus)


A core activity in information systems development involves understanding the conceptual model of the domain that the information system supports. Any conceptual model is ultimately created using a conceptual-modeling (CM) grammar. Accordingly, just as high quality conceptual models facilitate high quality systems development, high quality CM grammars facilitate high quality conceptual modeling. This paper seeks to provide a new perspective on improving the quality of CM grammar semantics. For the past twenty years, the leading approach to this topic has drawn on ontological theory. However, the ontological approach captures just half of the story. It needs to be coupled with a logical approach. We show how ontological quality and logical quality interrelate and we outline three contributions of a logical approach: the ability to see familiar conceptual-modeling problems in simpler ways, the illumination of new problems, and the ability to prove the benefit of modifying CM grammars.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Conference on Information Systems (ICIS 2013)
Subtitle of host publicationReshaping Society Through Information Systems Design
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 01 Dec 2013
EventInternational Conference on Information Systems, ICIS 2013 - Milan, Italy
Duration: 15 Dec 201318 Dec 2013


ConferenceInternational Conference on Information Systems, ICIS 2013


  • Conceptual modeling
  • Logic
  • Ontology
  • Semantics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Library and Information Sciences
  • Management Information Systems


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