The information on this webpage comes from the Final CD of the proposed international standard ISO/IEC 14481: Conceptual Schema Modeling Facilities (CSMF).

July 1998 version of ISO/IEC FCD 14481 in Acrobat format

ISO/IEC 14481 is based on the ISO Technical Report 9007 "Information processing systems -- concepts and terminology for the conceptual schema and the information base" released in 1983 and 1987.

In the standard 14481 a Modeling Facility is a means with which models can be made. The term is used for a method or technique. This method or technique can be supported by tools.

From chapter 3 of the standard 14481: Terms and Conditions, paragraph 3.1 Definitions:

For the purposes of this International Standard, the following terms and their informal definitions apply. Some of these definitions rely on terms defined elsewhere in this International Standard.

3.1.1 Conceptual Schema: formal description of a UoD. A Conceptual Schema uses some normative formalism. It allows a formal description of entities contained in a UoD, along with properties and relationships between those entities. In addition it allows the description of formal rules, constraints, events, processes and other semantics. A Conceptual Schema may lead to one or more data models for information systems

3.1.2 Conceptual Schema Language: formal language interpretable by either a computer or a human being, containing all linguistic constructs necessary to formulate the sentences that express the propositions in a Conceptual Schema.

3.1.3 Conceptual Schema Modelling Facility: facility comprising semantic constructs that shall be contained in any CSL used to create a Conceptual Schema

3.1.4 Data: representation forms of information dealt with by users or processed within an information system

3.1.5 External Schema: definition of the external representation forms for the possible collections of sentences within the scope of a particular user's view, including the manipulation aspects of these forms

3.1.6 Information: any kind of knowledge about things, facts, concepts, etc., of a UoD that is interpretable to and exchangeable among users

3.1.8 Internal Schema: definition of the internal representation forms for the possible collections of sentences processed within an information system

3.1.9 Mapping: ability to associate one construct in one syntactic form with an equivalent, or partially equivalent, construct in another, alternative syntactic form

3.1.10 Universe of Discourse (UoD): a collection of entities of interest

3.1.11 User: anybody or anything that interacts with an information system


From chapter 5 of the standard 14481: Concepts for the CSMF, paragraaf 5.1 Principles

The CSMF shall adhere to the following principles.

5.1.1 "100% principle": The CSMF enables the production of Conceptual Schemas that obey the "100% Principle" of ISO/TR9007 -

All relevant structural and behavioral rules, laws, etc. about the UoD must be described in a Conceptual Schema. That Conceptual Schema defines the UoD.

5.1.2 "Conceptualization principle": The CSMF enables the production of Conceptual Schemas that obey the "Conceptualization Principle" of ISO/TR9007

A Conceptual Schema should only include conceptually relevant aspects, both structural and behavioral, of the UoD. All aspects of external or internal data representation are to be excluded. In particular it enables the production of a Conceptual Schema which is independent with respect to physical implementation technologies and platforms.

5.1.3 "Helsinki principle": The CSMF enables the production of Conceptual Schemas that obey the "Helsinki Principle" of ISO/TR9007 -

Any meaningful exchange of utterances depends upon the prior existence of an agreed upon set of semantic and syntactic rules. The recipients of the utterances must use only these rules to interpret the received utterances, if it is to mean the same as that which was meant by the utterer.

5.1.4 Distinction of a concept and its representation: The CSMF allows distinction between the concept and the representation of the concept.

5.1.5 Concrete Conceptual Schema Language syntaxes: The CSMF constructs enable mapping to and from concrete Conceptal Schema Language syntaxes.

5.1.6 Nature of the world: The CSMF makes minimal assumptions concerning the nature of the world.

5.1.7 Extensibility: The CSMF provides mechanisms for extending the standard set of constructs.

5.1.8 Self description: The CSMF allows the Conceptual Schema modelling constructs defined in this International Standard to be self-described.


From chapter 5 of the standard 14481: Concepts for the CSMF, the figure in paragraph 5.8 Schema Architecture


From chapter 6 of the standard 14481: CSMF modelling foundation (defining schema), paragraph 6.1 Fundamental Concepts for the UoD

6.1.1 Entity: any concrete or abstract thing of interest

NOTE Entity is a universal concept that includes static and dynamic things, associations among the things, and any thing perceived to exist in some real or hypothetical world.

6.1.2 Universe of Discourse (UoD): all those entities of interest that have been, are, or ever might be in a selected portion of a real or hypothetical world.


From chapter 7: Conceptual Schema modelling constucts (normativa schema). This chapter contains a complete list of terms that form the complete normative basis for any conceptual schema. The 10 concepts are:

7.1 UoD entity: an entity that is recognized as having real or hypothetical existence in the UoD

7.2 Fact: a proposition involving one or more entities each of which plays a distinct role, and which is held to be meaningful and true

7.3 Constraint: a fact that must always be true

7.4 Event: the change from one UoD state to the immediately succeeding UoD state

7.5 Process: a chosen set of events

7.6 Trigger: the role played by an event in starting a process

7.7 Agent: an entity in a role that has the power to perform, or cause the performance of, one or more processes

7.8 Input: an interaction between a entity and a process, where the entity exists before the interaction and is used by the process

7.9 Output: an interaction between a process and a entity such that the entity is either created or its entity state is changed by the process

7.10 Message: a fact that is an output of one process and an input of zero, one, or more processes

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.Copyright 1998 - A/I/M b.v.

.December 1998

.Steven F.N. van 't Veld, Principal Consultant
Architectuur, Informatie & Management b.v.
Postbus 85142, 3009 MC Rotterdam
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