Notation Conventions

A disproportionately large amount of the text written about data modeling concerns notation—the symbols used in models to express their meaning. Half a dozen notations have developed over the past thirty-five years, each with its own adherents[(]. Each notation is promoted with a passionate energy that borders on the religious. In your author’s opinion, this comes at least in part from the fact that it is hard to learn data modeling, and each of us has invariably done so in a particular context, usually with a particular tool. Because each notation (and the tool) has its shortcomings, each of us has had to come up with ways of working around those shortcomings. Then, if we’ve been at it long enough, those workarounds become ...

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