OOIS 2002
8th International Conference on Object-Oriented Information Systems
September 2-5, 2002, Montpellier, France

MAnaging SPEcialization/Generalization HIerarchies

Monday 2  september, Montpellier, France

Marianne HUCHARD, LIRMM-Université Montpellier 2, France
Hernan ASTUDILLO, Financial Systems Architects, New York, USA
Petko VALTCHEV, DIRO, Université de Montréal, Canada
Primary contact: Marianne.Huchard@lirmm.fr

In object-oriented approaches, the core of systems is, most of the time, a specialization/generalization hierarchy, that organizes concepts of the application domain or software artifacts useful in the development. These concepts are usually known in the object-oriented vocabulary as classes and types. For programming languages, the specialization hierarchy is implemented by inheritance, that also supports feature (specification or code) sharing and reuse. In knowledge representation and data-mining approaches, the modeling aspect of a class hierarchy prevails, whereas its main purpose is to guide the process of reasoning and rule discovery.
Design, implementation and maintenance of specialization/generalization hierarchies are difficult tasks, due to the size of the hierarchies, the numerous, often conflicting, criteria which can be used in the generalization process, as well as the natural evolution in the domain and in the knowledge about that domain, which has to be reflected by the hierarchy structure. Real challenges for new object-oriented systems include the support evolution in class membership (a person may be vegetarian/smoker for a while, but give it up later), integration of specialization/generalization hierarchies coming from different sources, or slicing of an existing hierarchy in order to provide partial views to fit specific purposes.
The aim of the workshop is to bring together people interested in specialization hierarchy design, implementation and use, to summarize the state of the art in the field (current practices and tools) and discuss open questions.

Please consider also the following workshop about inheritance !

The inheritance Workshop at ECOOP 2002