Subtypes or Roles for parties


Recently I participated in a discussion of a common problem in data modelling. The question is whether to represent parties (groups) as roles or as subtypes (generalisation hierarchy).

When designing the Conceptual Data Model, parties can be represented as subtypes provided there is a common context amongst sub-types. In the Logical Model, subtypes should be represented only if each subtype has a unique concept that the others don’t.

You can read view the LinkedIn discussion here and/or see my Short notes on Barker’s ERD Notation.

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Author: Frankie Inguanez

I am a Data & Software Consultant from Malta with a specialisation in Business Intelligence & Data Mining. Currently, a senior lecturer and software developer at MCAST focusing on Databases, Business Intelligence and Applied Computational Intelligence modules at degree level. As a developer, I have been working on the development of a management information system together in a small team using PostgreSQL, Spring, Jira, Confluence, Git, amongst other tools. My first degree was a B.Sc.(Hons.) at the University of Malta then I graduated at De Montfort University in M.Sc. Business Intelligence Systems and Data Mining where I was recognised with the Best Student and Best Project awards. My postgraduate research was then presented and published in an IEEE conference in Berlin in 2016. During my free time, I try to find a balance between photography, diving, guitar playing and an occasional camping or walk in the countryside.

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