Grand tour of concepts for object-orientation from a database point of view
Data & Knowledge Engineering
Over the last few years, object-orientation has gained more and more importance within several disciplines of computer science (e.g., programming languages, knowledge engineering, and database systems). Numerous papers have defined one or another of its underlying concepts (sometimes in quite different ways), and some systems have been developed following those heterogeneous definitions. Nevertheless, papers investigating the dependencies and degrees of freedom of these concepts are rarely
... . For this reason, the goal of this paper is not to add yet another definition of object-oriented concepts, but to identify existing relationships among these basic concepts that allow one to cover and classify various conceivable combinations of these conceptual building blocks. Dependencies, orthogonalities, and relations among concepts like object identity, encapsulation, classification, generalization, inheritance, etc. are revealed, showing numerous ways to compose different shades of object-orientation. This leads to alternatives encountered when constructing object-oriented systems, which are illustrated by classifying some well-known systems and prototypes from different areas. However, it is not our purpose to analyze the relative importance of these concepts. Instead, we investigate the concepts from a neutral point of view, presenting (but not evaluating) several degrees of object-orientation.