Towards Understanding of Classes Versus Data Types in Conceptual Modeling and UML

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Executive Summary

Traditional conceptual modeling and UML take different vague, ambiguous, and apparently incompatible approaches to making a distinction between two different entity types - classes and data types. In this paper, an in-depth theoretical study of these ambiguities and discrepancies is given and a new semantic interpretation is proposed for consolidation. The interpretation is founded on the premise that populations of the two kinds of entity types are defined in two substantially different ways: by intensional (for data types) and extensional (for classes) definitions.

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