International Workshop on

Object-Role Modeling

Vilamoura, Algarve, Portugal, Nov 28 - 30, 2007

Proceedings will be published by Springer Verlag


Following successful workshops held in Cyprus (2005) and Montpellier (2006), this is the third in a series of fact-oriented modeling workshops run in conjunction with the OTM conferences. Fact-oriented modeling is a conceptual approach to modeling and querying the information semantics of business domains in terms of the underlying facts of interest, where all facts and rules may be verbalized in language readily understandable by non-technical users of those business domains. Unlike Entity-Relationship (ER) modeling and UML class diagrams, fact-oriented modeling treats all facts as relationships (unary, binary, ternary etc.). How facts are grouped into structures (e.g. attribute-based entity types, classes, relation schemes, XML schemas) is considered a design level, implementation issue that is irrelevant to the capturing of essential business semantics. Avoiding attributes in the base model enhances semantic stability and populatability, as well as facilitating natural verbalization and thus more productive communication with all stakeholders. For information modeling, fact-oriented graphical notations are typically far more expressive than those provided by other notations. Fact-oriented textual languages are based on formal subsets of native languages, so are easier to understand by business people than technical languages like OCL. Fact-oriented modeling includes procedures for mapping to attribute-based structures, so may also be used to front-end other approaches.

Though less well known than ER and object-oriented approaches, fact-oriented modeling has been used successfully in industry for over 30 years, and is taught in universities around the world. The fact-oriented modeling approach comprises a family of closely related .dialects., the most well known being Object-Role Modeling (ORM), Natural Language Information Analysis Method (NIAM), and Fully-Communication Oriented Information Modeling (FCO-IM). Though adopting a different graphical notation, the Object-oriented Systems Model (OSM) is a close relative, with its attribute-free philosophy.

Commercial tools supporting the fact-oriented approach include the ORM solution within Microsoft.s Visio for Enterprise Architects, and the FCO-IM tool CaseTalk. Free ORM tools include InfoModeler and Infagon, as well as various academic prototypes. Dogma Modeler, an ORM-based tool for specifying ontologies, is currently being significantly extended. NORMA, an open-source ORM2 tool, is currently under development to vastly extend both functionality and usability for the next generation of ORM. General information about ORM, and links to other relevant sites, may be found at


The main goal of this workshop is to provide a forum for researchers and practitioners interested in fact-oriented modeling methods to meet, and exchange research and implementation ideas and results. It also provides this group of researchers/practitioners an opportunity to present their research papers and experience reports, and to take part in open discussions.

Relevant topics include (but are not limited to) theoretical and/or empirical exploration of fact-oriented modeling methods, as well as case studies and experience reports related to:

  • Theory/principles of fact-oriented modeling (ORM, NIAM, FCO-IM, etc
  • Fact orientation, communication and understandability
  • Fact orientation and CMMI DEV 1.2
  • Fact-oriented modeling of ontologies
  • Meta-models for fact-oriented modeling
  • Industry experience with fact-oriented modeling
  • Fact-oriented modeling and business rules
  • Temporal issues in fact-oriented modeling
  • Fact-oriented modeling and business service modeling
  • Fact-oriented modeling and workflow modeling
  • Agent-oriented extensions to fact-oriented modeling
  • Tools to support fact-oriented modeling
  • Fact-orientation and verbalization of business rules
  • Fact-orientation and validation of business rules
  • Fact-oriented query languages
  • Transforming fact-based models to/from attribute-based models
  • Comparing fact-orientation with other approaches


The workshop is primarily aimed at researchers and practitioners interested in conceptual modeling approaches for the analysis and design of information systems and ontologies, including modeling of data, processes and events. Attendees familiar with fact-oriented approaches have the opportunity to update and deepen their knowledge and expertise in this area, especially with respect to the latest advances in ORM. Attendees less familiar with fact-oriented approaches have an ideal opportunity to learn about the approach from world experts in the area, and adopt or adapt the many benefits of the approach.



All submitted papers will be evaluated by at least three members of the program committee, based on originality, significance, technical soundness, and clarity of expression. Submissions must be in English, and should not exceed 5,000 words (excluding references and appendices). Only electronic submissions in Adobe PDF format are acceptable. Papers should not exceed 10 pages in the final camera-ready format. Formatting instructions can be found at:

On the original submission, include a cover page with title of paper as well as the authors. names, affiliations, phones, faxes, and email addresses. The total number of words in the paper (excluding cover page, tables, and references) should be indicated on the cover page. The second page should begin with the title of the paper followed by an abstract of no more than 150 words.

Following a technique successfully used by various IFIP Conferences in the 1980s, a common example is downloadable from covering the data, process, and event perspectives. If relevant to their chosen topic, authors are encouraged to use this example.

The proceedings will be published by Springer Verlag in their LNCS (Lecture Notes in Computer Science) series. The final paper (if accepted) should be formatted using the Springer LNCS style at:

Failure to commit to presentation at the workshop automatically excludes a paper from the proceedings.

The paper submission site is located at

Terry Halpin
Neumont University, USA

Sjir Nijssen
PNA, The Netherlands

Robert Meersman
Vrije Universiteit Brussel Belgium


For more information on the workshop, please contact:

Prof. Terry Halpin
fax: + 1 801 302 2811
tel: +1 801 302 2820