Metaphysical databases

Holm P.
Department of Computer and Systems Science Stockholm University Electrum 230, 164 40 Kista, Sweden


Traditionally graphical diagram techniques, such as ER-diagrams and data-flow diagrams, have been used for a double purpose in software development. On the one hand they are seen as conceptual models describing a portion of the world. On the other hand they are simultaneously used as a means for software design. In this paper we discuss some principal limitations with this way of thinking, e.g. that it becomes impossible to describe the software system itself and how it is used. We also present a way to remedy these limitations. As a result we obtain a coherent formal basis to reason about various aspects of the system and its usage throughout the whole development process.

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