Distributed UDEF Architecture : Data Element Concepts

 

In UDEF all Data Element Concepts are formed by combining an object part with a property part, using the UDEF vocabulary. An overview of the vocabulary is given below.

UDEF Vocabulary Overview

UDEF Vocabulary Overview

The UDEF trees are available in multiple languages, which facilitates interoperability across languages. Currently 3 languages are published and 5 more are in various stages of development.

Object Trees

The UDEF objects are formed by selection of a node from any of the trees below. All UDEF object trees assume the context of an enterprise, do not contain brand specific information, do not require domain specific knowledge and are available to the public at no cost.

#

Name

Description

0

Entity

Any concrete or abstract thing of interest, including associations among things. Within the UDEF, entity is selected when two or more of the other UDEF objects could be used for a given data element concept. An example that is commonly used within business is the term "party" that could be either an enterprise or a person. For this example, the correct UDEF object selection would be entity.

1

Asset

Any data or information about any resource, other than human, which is used, consumed, or available for use/consumption by any process of an enterprise.

2

Document

Any data or information about any collection of data or information, regardless of format, which has definable boundaries and is so designated for one or more purposes.

3

Enterprise

Any data or information about any definable boundary collection of human and asset resources used to perform a collection of processes to create one or more products which are intended for use or consumption by outside entities.

4

Environment

Any data or information about any natural or man-made surrounding that is relevant to the enterprise.

5

Person

Any data or information about any human being that is relevant to the enterprise.

6

Law-Rule

Any data or information about laws (natural or man-made) or policies that govern any process of the enterprise.

7

Place

Any data or information about any location that is relevant to the enterprise.

8

Process

Any data or information about a definable course of events distinguishable by its purpose or by its effect, whether natural, manual, automated or machine supported and which is relevant to the enterprise.

9

Product

Any data or information regarding something that is the result of a set of processes by an enterprise and which is intended to be used or consumed by entities outside of the enterprise.

10

Program

Any data or information about any definable collection of enterprises bound by a common set of objectives.

11

Condition

Any data or information that describes the state at a particular time of something of interest to the enterprise.

12

Liability

Any data or information that describes a risk or liability of interest to the enterprise.

13

Animal

Any data or information that describes an animal of interest to the enterprise.

14

Plant

Any data or information that describes a plant (a living or once-living organism lacking the power of locomotion) of interest to the enterprise.

15

Substance

Any data or information that describes a substance of interest to the enterprise.

16

Event

Any natural or man-made event of interest to the enterprise.

UDEF Object Trees

Property Trees

The property part of a Data Element Concept is formed by selecting an element out of a property tree. All UDEF property trees assume the context of an enterprise, do not contain brand specific information, do not require domain specific knowledge and are available to the public at no cost.

#

Name

Description

1

Amount

A number of monetary units specified in a currency

2

Graphic

A diagram, graph, mathematical curve or similar representation (a type of binary object

3

Picture

A visual representation of a person, object, or scene (a type of binary object)

4

Code

A character string used to replace a definitive value.

5

Date-Time

A particular point in the progression of time.

6

Date

A day within a particular calendar year (a type of date time).

7

Indicator

A list of two and only two possible values (synonym for Boolean).

8

Identifier

A character string used to identify and distinguish uniquely.

9

Percent

A rate expressed in hundredths between two values with same UoM (a type of numeric).

10

Name

A word or phrase that distinctively designates a person, place, etc. (a type of text)

11

Quantity

A counted number of non-monetary units (a type of numeric)

12

Rate

A quantity or amount measured with respect to another quantity or amount (a type of numeric)

13

Measure

A numeric value that is determined by measuring an object. Measures are specified with a unit of measure.

14

Text

A character string generally in the form of words of a language

15

Time

The time within a (not specified) day (a type of date time)

16

Value

Numeric information that is assigned or determined by calculation, counting, or sequencing (a type of numeric)

17

Sound

A binary object that is capable of creating audio (a type of binary object)

18

Video

A binary object that is capable of creating motion pictures/graphics (a type of binary object)

UDEF Property Trees

Satellite Vocabularies

One type of distributed tree of particular interest has been called a satellite data element tree. Satellite Data Element Vocabularies (SDEV) are sets of trees, similar to UDEF, that can be used either stand-alone within the context of a knowledge domain or as extensions to UDEF trees at specific connection points defined in UDEF. Each SDEV can consist of multiple object and/or property trees that have specific relevance to that knowledge domain. SDEV-object trees represent subclasses of UDEF objects that are of specific relevance to the knowledge domain. SDEV-property trees represent specializations of UDEF-properties that are of specific relevance to the knowledge domain.

Satellite Data Element Vocabularies (SDEVs) are constructs that follow the same syntax and governance rules as UDEF and are public but not generic. SDEVs are specific for a domain of knowledge and within the context of the sector where this knowledge is generally used relatively generic.

There is no technical limit to the number of SDEVs but it is anticipated that the global knowledge domain will be segmented in not more than about 20 - 50 knowledge domains for which an SDEV is required and justified.

SDEVs extend UDEF in the specific knowledge domain and are, like UDEF, public domain. Each SDEV will specify what universal context for meaning it assumes. This context of meaning by definition is different from the universal enterprise context that UDEF assumes. Collectively all SDEVs thus eliminate the UDEF restriction on context of Data Element Concepts. This will be different from UDEF, different for each SDEV and optionally differentiated between different trees in a satellite vocabulary.

It is possible that knowledge domains overlap. If that happens Object trees or Property trees from which Data Element Concepts can be constructed that represent knowledge that is used in overlapping knowledge domains are arbitrarily assigned to any one of the relevant satellite registries, or in some cases, in order to prevent a dubious assignment of a tree to a knowledge domain, the trees of UDEF itself may be extended. It is also possible that a tree in a SDEV is structured such that a further subdivision into multiple trees, belonging to different knowledge domains will result.

This implies and requires that multiple levels of distribution is a possibility, which indeed is envisioned for the longer term. In longer term satellite trees may itself have descendant trees that further segment the knowledge domain or that include other types of descendant trees as discussed here. This is no limitation since all SDEVs will be public domain, collectively representing all knowledge domains.

Since knowledge domains generally match vertical industry domains, IDEV (Industry Data Element Vocabulary) has been suggested as an alternative name for SDEV; however this acronym already has another connotation, apart from UDEF.

Initially, only a limited number of SDEVs will be defined, representing only a few knowledge domains. Like UDEF, SDEVs may be available in multiple languages, but only languages in which the root UDEF has been made available belong to the standard.

Multiple extension points in UDEF may refer to the same SDEF tree. The connection and referral mechanism can be applied to object trees and property trees independently.

Valid ID's that can be constructed are either:

  • A SDEV-object connected with an UDEF-property
  • An UDEF-object connected with a SDEV-property
  • A SDEV-object connected with a SDEV-property
  • A SDEV-extended UDEF-object connected with an UDEF-property
  • An UDEF-object connected with a SDEV-extended UDEF-property
  • A SDEV-extended UDEF-object connected with a SDEV-extended UDEF-property

The validity of the following constructs is for further study:

  • A SDEV-object connected with a SDEV-extended UDEF-property, when the same SDEV is involved in both object and property side
  • A SDEV-extended UDEF-object connected with a SDEV-property, when the same SDEV is involved in both object and property side
  • A SDEV-object connected with a SDEF-extended UDEF-property, when a different SDEV is involved in both object and property side
  • A SDEV-extended UDEF-object connected with a SDEV-property, when a different SDEV is involved in both object and property side

Satellite Data Element Vocabularies follow the governance principles as defined for UDEF but are maintained by different registrars. Registrars are assigned by The Open Group based on their generally accepted competence in a specific knowledge domain. The Open Group will define the boundaries between various knowledge domains, and with the general knowledge assumed to be common knowledge domain, which will continue to be managed by The Open Group itself.

Other distributed vocabularies

Several other types of distributed vocabularies are being developed, but this white paper is restricted to satellite data element trees.

Among the future other distributed trees the following are envisioned:

  • Private Data Element Vocabularies (PDEVs)
  • Transient Data Element Vocabularies (TDEVs)
  • Language Specific Data Element Vocabularies (LDEVs)
  • Merged Enterprise Data Element Vocabularies (MDEVs)
  • Crypto-concealed Data Element Vocabularies (XDEVs)
  • Federated Identity Element Vocabularies (FIEVs)

These will be covered by subsequent white papers.

 

 

 

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