On the value of commutative diagrams in information modelling

Michael Johnson, C. N. G. Dampney

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Category theory has been widely used in computer science, but usually in a very sophisticated manner. This paper argues that elementary category theoretic notions can have important value in the “real world” of software engineering. Perhaps the most elementary categorical notion is that of commutative diagram. Drawing on experience from several applications of category theory to information modelling in major business enterprises we show how commutative diagrams have been used to develop new methodologies in ER-modelling, constraint specification and process modelling. They also suggest new but as yet untested techniques for information model partitioning and information system architecture. The methodologies described here have a firm theoretical basis using the recently isolated theory of lextensive categories and this basis is briefly outlined.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAlgebraic Methodology and Software Technology
EditorsM. Nivat, C. Rattray, T. Rus, G. Scollo
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherSpringer, Springer Nature
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781447132271
ISBN (Print)9783540198529
Publication statusPublished - 1994

Publication series

NameWorkshops in Computing


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