Thanks for the quick responses. My heart is certainly with ORM. I ran across it around 2002 and fell in love. In most of my projects I model in ORM and then switch to whatever notation the project is using. I can see my mistakes more clearly in ORM. When no notation is mandated I just use ORM. Also, I find it a great notation to validate my models with SMEs.
I am working on a project with a large financial services firm. They Enterprise Management Group wants to create a customer ontology (a toy to start). They are looking at ERDs, ORM, and UML. Another data group is using Hadoop/Hbase to access and analyze data warehouse data sets. They propose that an analyst model that data he wants to use as an ontology. This tool is not implemented yet, but they are very interested in using VOWL as a visual language to represent these datasets. Both groups are talking about using a common notation so that Data Modelers, Implementers and Data Analysts can share a common visual language (a beautiful dream). An ideal would be to use this notation to also represent APIs. Over the next seven weeks we will be doing an evaluation of the pros and cons. I have read 1.6 of the VOWL papers and am starting to work out how to approach this comparison. Hence, my interest in Ken's research. The VOWL folks claim to have done a some usability tests so I will review them are well. So far I have not found a VOWL to ORM comparison.
Could you please be more specific as to why:
1. VOWL ignores most OWL2 constructs (which constructs?) and is only an abstract and sometimes illogical summary of a conceptual model? In the examples, I have seen I noticed that they implicitly re-introduce attributes as members of a larger object.
2. Why VOWL has scaling problems (e.g., 10 concepts) that are worst than ORM?
3. Why VOWL can visualize a summary of conceptual model, but cannot design a conceptual model (no associated methodology?)?
4. How ORM is more expressive than OWL2 and in turn is OWL2 is more expressive than VOWL.
5. Do these difference in expression have pragmatic impacts (e.g., lead to significant modelling errors) or are the just fine points that logicians would argue about?
Finally, is there a target date for when this well founded and also practical solution of exporting OWL from the NORMA tool will be released? I noticed that NORMA can export to a number of other notations, but not yet to OWL. I recall Dr. Halphin talking about adding an OWL export back in 2011 and have read most of his OWL to ORM comparison papers. I agree this is the ideal approach, but is this smart export of RDF/OWL2 something that is going to be released within the next five months?
To my mind ORM has had 30 years of people beating up this notation and improving it; it should be a much more stable notation and able to represent more domains of discourse and share them among stakeholders. But I need to make this argument in a lot more detail and then construct a concise summary.