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IDEF1X Information Modeling

IDEFIX (Integration Definition for Information Modeling) is a data modeling language for the developing of semantic data models. IDEF1X is used to produce a graphical information model which represents the structure and semantics of information within an environment or system.

Use of the IDEF1X permits the construction of semantic data models which may serve to support the management of data as a resource, the integration of information systems, and the building of computer databases. This standard is part of the IDEF family of modeling languages in the field of software engineering.

In 1983, the U.S. Air Force initiated the Integrated Information Support System (I2S2) project under the ICAM program. The objective of this project was to provide the enabling technology to logically and physically integrate a network of heterogeneous computer hardware and software. As a result of this project, and industry experience, the need for an enhanced technique for information modeling was recognized.

From the point of view of the contract administrators of the Air Force IDEF program, IDEF1X was a result of the ICAM IISS-6201 project and was further extended by the IISS-6202 project. To satisfy the data modeling enhancement requirements that were identified in the IISS-6202 project, a sub-contractor, DACOM, obtained a license to the Logical Database Design Technique (LDDT) and its supporting software (ADAM). From the point of view of the technical content of the modeling technique, IDEF1X is a renaming of LDDT.

LDDT had been developed in 1982 by Robert G. Brown of The Database Design Group entirely outside the IDEF program and with no knowledge of IDEF1. Nevertheless, the central goal of IDEF1 and LDDT was the same: to produce a database neutral model of the persistent information needed by an enterprise by modeling the real-world entities involved. LDDT combined elements of the relational data model, the E-R model, and data generalization in a way specifically intended to support data modeling and the transformation of the data models into database designs

The graphic syntax of LDDT differed from that of IDEF1 and, more importantly, LDDT contained interrelated modeling concepts not present in IDEF1. Therefore, instead of extending IDEF1, Mary E. Loomis of DACOM wrote a concise summary of the syntax and semantics of a substantial subset of LDDT, using terminology compatible with IDEF1 wherever possible. DACOM labeled the result IDEF1X and supplied it to the ICAM program, which published it in 1985.

IDEF1 Information Modeling

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From Wikipedia: IDEF1:

'The ICAM Program [..] developed a series of techniques known as the IDEF (ICAM Definition) Methods which included the following [..] IDEF1 used to produce an “information model” which represents the structure and semantics of information within the environment or system.'

IDEF1 was developed under ICAM program priority 1102 by Dr. Robert R. Brown of the Hughes Aircraft Company, under contract to SofTech, Inc. Dr. Brown had previously been responsible for the development of IMS while working at Rockwell International (Rockwell chose not to pursue IMS as a marketable product; International Business Machines (IBM), which had served as a support contractor during development, subsequently took over the product and was successful in further developing it for market.) Dr. Brown credits his Hughes colleague Mr. Timothy Ramey as the inventor of IDEF1 as a viable formalism for modeling information structures. The two Hughes researchers built on ideas from and interactions with many luminaries in the field at the time. In particular, IDEF1 draws on the following techniques:

- the Evolving Natural Language Information Model (ENALIM) technique of Dr. G. M. Nijssen (Control Data Corporation) — this technique is now more widely known as NIAM or the Object-Role Model ORM;

- the network data structures technique, popularly called the CODASYL approach, of Dr. Charles Bachman (Honeywell Information Systems);

- the hierarchical data management technique, implemented in IBM's IMS data management system, developed by Dr. R. R. Brown (Rockwell International);

- the relational approach to data of Dr. E. F. Codd (IBM);

- The Entity-Relationship Approach (E-R) of Dr. Peter Chen (UCLA).

LDDT had been developed in 1982 by [node:1684] of The Database Design Group entirely outside the IDEF program and with no knowledge of IDEF1. LDDT combined elements of the relational data model, the E-R model, and generalization in a way specifically intended to support data modeling and the transformation of the data models into database designs. The graphic syntax of LDDT differed from that of IDEF1 and, more importantly, LDDT contained interrelated modeling concepts not present in IDEF1. Mary E. Loomis wrote a concise summary of the syntax and semantics of a substantial subset of LDDT, using terminology compatible with IDEF1 wherever possible. DACOM labeled the result IDEF1X and supplied it to the ICAM program.

The effort to develop IDEF1 resulted in both a new method for information modeling and an example of its use in the form of a "reference information model of manufacturing." This latter artifact was developed by D. S. Coleman of the D. Appleton & Company (DACOM) acting as a sub-contractor to Hughes and under the direction of Mr. Ramey. Personnel at DACOM became quite expert at IDEF1 modeling and subsequently produced a training course and accompanying materials for the IDEF1 modeling technique.

The initial approach to IDEF information modeling (IDEF1) was published by the ICAM program in 1981, based on current research and industry needs. The theoretical roots for this approach stemmed from the early work of Edgar F. Codd on relational theory and Peter Chen on the entity-relationship model. The initial IDEF1 technique was based on the work of Dr. R.R. Brown and Mr. T.L. Ramey of Hughes Aircraft and Mr. D.S. Coleman of D. Appleton & Company, with critical review and influence by Charles Bachman, Peter Chen, Dr. M.A. Melkanoff, and Dr. G.M. Nijssen.

IHS Inc.