The representation of things and properties is a fundamental issue in conceptual modeling. The proponents of different modeling approaches, for example entity relationship modeling and object-role modeling, offer very different advice about the distinction between things and properties and their representation. We use ontological theory to provide guidelines about how things and properties should be represented. Previous experimental work has provided evidence to support the use of ontologically sound representations of things and properties in conceptual modeling. However the results also indicate that the type of task undertaken (for example comprehension, problem solving, discrepancy checking, and decomposition) may also impact the use of conceptual models. In this paper, a research project is proposed to examine the sorts of tasks that are best supported by distinguishing between things and properties in conceptual modeling.
Shanks, Graeme; Nuredini, Jasmina; Tobin, Daniel; and Weber, Ron, "Representing Things and Properties in Conceptual Modeling: Understanding the Impact of Task Type" (2003). ICIS 2003 Proceedings. 85.