Pattern Specification and Matching in Conceptual Models. A Generic Approach Based on Set Operations
Delfmann P, Herwig S, Lis L, Stein A, Tent K, Becker J
Searching for patterns in conceptual models is useful for a number of purposes, for example revealing syntactical errors, model comparison, and identification of business process improvement potentials. In this contribution, we introduce a formal approach for the specification and matching of structural patterns in conceptual models. Unlike existing approaches, we do not focus on a certain application problem or a specific modelling language. Instead, our approach is generic making it applicable for any pattern matching purpose and most conceptual modelling languages. In order to build sets representing structural model patterns, we define formal operations based on set theory, which can be applied to arbitrary models represented by sets. The basic sets represent the model elements, which in turn originate from the modelling language specification’s instances. Besides a conceptual and formal specification of our approach, we present particular application examples and a prototypical modelling tool showing its general applicability.