At Cauvin, Inc., we compose conceptual models in the form of static structure diagrams. Conceptual models resemble glossaries (in that they define the words in the domain), but they are richer and more concise.
Here is an example of a conceptual model:
Conceptual models in this format contain the following elements:
- Concepts. Each rectangular box depicts a concept.
- Links. A line between two concepts shows that an association exists between them.
- Association. The name of an association is shown on or next to a link between two concepts.
- Multiplicities. Multiplicities show how many instances of the concepts participate in the association. An asterisk (*) means that an indefinite (potentially infinite) number of instances participates in the relationship.
- Specialization. A specialization is a kind of association with a hollow triangle connecting the link to a concept. The concept on the triangle link is the general concept. The concept on the other end of the link is its specialization, which means it is a kind of the general concept.
- A product is sold in zero or more markets.
- A market is divided into zero or more market segments.
- A segmentation method is a method of segmenting a market.
- Regional segmentation is a kind of segmentation method.
- Regional segmentation segments a market by zero or more regions.