Category-Theoretic Co-Products, Schema Discrepancies and Role Abstractions in Information Systems

Robert M. Colomb
Department of Computer Science The University of Queensland Queensland 4072 Australia


This paper presents a category theoretic solution to the schema discrepancy problem. It shows that the problem of relating the involved party/ role abstraction used in enterprise modelling with the concrete entities and relationships employed in conceptual modelling for an enterprise's information system is an instance of the schema discrepancy problem. The solution to the schema discrepancy problem, based on the category theoretic notion of co-product, therefore permits this sort of enterprise model to function as a formal abstraction of the conceptual model. This abstraction mechanism is shown to integrate smoothly with another abstraction mechanism based on the category theoretic notion of fibration, giving a promising method of establishing a general formal relationship between abstract enterprise models and the concrete information systems which implement them.
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