Book Pick: Meta-models

Excerpt from Enterprise Architecture Fundamentals:


OMG’s attempts to break out of systems’ semantics using abstraction ladders and customized profiles (e.g., healthcare, finances, military, retail) are confronted with a practical pitfall: if abstraction scales (ladder perspective) and profiles (transverse perspective) cannot be neatly separated, semantics get mixed up and whole models get muddled.

Hence the need to establish a Chinese wall between meta-language constructs and domain-specific ones (figure 8-5):

  • Meta-classes: used to characterize the semantic categories employed by the modeling languages
  • Stereotypes: used to define lexical categories related to the targeted domain; e.g., regulation, maintenance, communication protocol, public administration
  • Constraints: used to qualify meta-classes and stereotypes, depending on modeling languages, profiles, or patterns Such constructs can be incorporated in modeling languages (a) or used to build meta-models (b). The same generic constructs can thus be used directly through modeling languages (solid lines) or indirectly through meta-models (dashed lines) as profiles (c), patterns (d), or both. Patterns could also be used to associate profiled issues with policies and strategies.
Figure 8-5. Direct or Indirect Use of Meta-languages


(From Chapter 8)
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