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Object-Oriented Conceptual Modeling and Design


The scope of this book includes providing a) a detailed explanation of the concepts of object oriented conceptual modeling, including system development and conceptual modeling, object oriented concepts, conceptual modeling and object oriented analysis (both static and dynamic aspects) b) user interface analysis c) extensions of object oriented concepts in a database, database design (static and dynamic aspects) d) user interface design e) service oriented design f) XML document design g) knowledge-based systems (analysis and design)


When building a software system, an analysis must be performed of the problem space and the requirements that the system must provide. Object oriented conceptual modeling involves representing the results of this analysis. This permits the results of the analysis to be reviewed, evaluated and criticized by the analyst, users, management and experts. It is in this way that the analysis phase of building the software system is completed.

The main concepts that underlie object-oriented systems are set out. These form the basis of object-oriented modeling (OOM) of systems. It is intended to apply the technique of OOM to conventional software engineering and development, knowledge-based systems (KBS) and databases (OODB). Each of these areas requires supplementary features to be added to the base or fundamental set of OOM characteristics. Here, the base set of object-oriented concepts that is common to all three areas is introduced.

The development of a system involves three distinct stages: analysis, design and implementation. These result in the following models :

1. a conceptual model
2. a software structure model
3. a implementation model.

All of these, in some sense, represent a model. The first output, the conceptual model, is a model of the portion of reality that is of interest, represented in a reasonably general and expressive set of structures. The second, the software structure model, involves a transformation of the conceptual model so as to take into account the constraints of the structures available in the software tools to be used for the implementation. In addition, the software structure model has to be enhanced to include any required system features such as particular aspects of inputs and outputs to the system. This software model is still a high-level description of the system. The implementation can be considered a model of the software system; this time expressed in the code of the software tool used to implement the system.

The process of development of an object-oriented conceptual model for a particular problem or system is called object-oriented analysis. It consists of several stages, namely:

1. obtaining a natural language description of the problem or system;
2. developing a conceptual model of the problem space;
3. determining the organization or subject areas of the problem or system.

This process of object-oriented analysis determines what the system or model does as distinct from how it does it. It includes a determination of the significant features for the application and domain and a coherent representation of these within the object-oriented framework.

The process of user interface analysis requires identification of the objects associated with the user interface and determination of interactions amongst them as well as with other objects in the system. Furthermore, it requires design of the screen layouts and other perceptual aspects of the user interface and mapping of the user interface objects onto those available in the UI implementation tool.

The User interface process can be divided into two broad phases namely:

1) user interface development analysis resulting in the logical model of the user interface;
2) the perceptual design of the user interface, and mapping of the UI objects onto the structures and widgets available in the UI implementation tool.

The analysis of the interface involves the identification of abstract user interface objects and their interaction with other abstract user interface objects as well as other objects in the system such as domain objects or data management objects.

An understanding of extensions of object-oriented concepts to the database area is explored. We first discuss the limitations of the record-oriented data models. This is followed by elaboration of the object-oriented concepts, introduced to explain their ramifications for data modeling. This discussion will result in further extension of these object-oriented concepts to provide the extra modeling capability necessary for an expressive object-oriented data model.

We next explain designing a service oriented approach for software.

We present a way to model XML and translate Object-Oriented (OO) modeling primitives into XML Schema. We choose the OO conceptual model because of its expressive power for developing a combined data model.

We explore a way to capture an expertís knowledge for solving a particular class of problem and to represent that knowledge in a form that allows machine implementation. We briefly outline the structure of expert systems. An expert system is a software system that embeds the knowledge of an expert for a specific purpose, be it to solve problems or provide advice about a particular domain. It is also called a knowledge-based system. Object oriented conceptual modeling of these systems is explored and elaborated in the book.

Overall, a base set of OO concepts is introduced, as well as extensions which cover databases, user interfaces and knowledge-based systems. In addition to this, a common modeling notation (UML v2.0) is introduced in examples to illustrate some of the concepts written about. The book concludes with a chapter on XML, and has a clear separation between concept and notation. Examples are placed throughout the book to illustrate the concepts, both a system and isolated instances.

Target readership

The primary audience is senior undergraduates, honours and Masters by Course work students who are doing software engineering, computer science, information technology, information systems, computer engineering, computer system engineering and related degrees.

The secondary audiences are software engineers and IT project managers in industry, organizations, IT organizations, and science and technology training institutions and research centres.


Professor Tharam Dillon is an expert in the field of software engineering, data mining XML based systems, ontologies, trust, security and component-oriented access control. Professor Dillon has published five authored books and four co-edited books. He has also published over 800 scientific papers in refereed journals and conferences. Professor Dillon has previously written books on object oriented conceptual modeling, e-commerce systems and trust and reputation in service oriented architectures. He has published widely on software engineering, object oriented systems, dynamics of software systems, XML based systems and ontologies.

Prof Elizabeth Chang, as a Professor, Associate Professor, Senior Lecturer/Lecturer at the four different Australian Universities in the last years, she created, developed and taught courses in e-Commerce, Software Engineering, Project Management, HCI, Databases, Logistics and Supply Chain Management. She is the Founder and Director of the Research Center of Excellence in Extended Enterprise and Business Intelligence. Professor Chang has over 500 scientific conference and journal papers in IT and Software Engineering. She, as a project manager, has successfully managed several commercial grade IT projects for industry. She has been CIO (Chief Information Officer 2000-2002) for a multi- national logistics company in Hong Kong, and has been a contract employee as Head of IT, senior software engineer, systems analyst and programmer for Philips Public Communication Limited, Animal Research Institute and the Australian Airlines.

Dr. Wenny Rahayu is currently an associate professor at the Department of Computer Science and Computer Engineering La Trobe University Australia. Her research areas cover a wide range of advanced databases topics including Object-Relational Databases, Distributed and Parallel Databases, Web Databases, Biomedical Databases, Semantic Web and Ontology, Semantic Grid and Grid Databases, XML Databases and Data Warehousing. Her PhD thesis in the area of Object-Relational Databases has been awarded the Best PhD Thesis 2001 by the Computer Science Association Australia. She is currently the Head of Data Engineering and Knowledge Management research group at La Trobe University. She has successfully supervised to completion a number of PhD and masters/honours students. She publishes extensively every year, including three books (one authored and two edited), and more than 100 research papers in international journals and proceedings. She has been invited for numerous talks in her research areas, and has been appointed as member of journal editorial board including the International Journal on Business Data Communication and Networking and International Journal of Web Information Systems.


Chapter 1. System development and its relationship to conceptual modelling

Chapter 2. Object concepts.

Chapter 3. Conceptual modelling

Chapter 4. Object based analysis - static aspect and intraobject dynamics

Chapter 5. Object based analysis - interobject dynamics

Chapter 6. User interface analysis

Chapter 7. Extensions of object concepts in a database.

Chapter 8. Service Oriented Design

Chapter 9. Databases - static design

Chapter 10. Databases - dynamic design

Chapter 11. User interface design

Chapter 12. Object Based approach to XML document design

Chapter 13. Object based approach to Web Engineering

Chapter 14. Knowledge based systems - analysis and design


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The book will also be available through bookshops via teleordering and other such systems.


Professor Tharam Dillon

Prof Elizabeth Chang

Dr. Wenny Rahayu


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