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A Semantic Mapping Approach for CFI-VHDL Interoperability?
Satish Venkatesany Karen C. Davisz
Database Systems Laboratory
University of Cincinnati
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0030
Our interest is in ECAD data modeling to support data exchange and tool interoperability, as well as to provide database management functionality. The foundation for the research described here is a meta-modeling approach for expressing information modeling standards and their interrelationships. In this paper, an approach to specifying semantic mappings between information models is developed. A mapping between CFI-DR concepts and VHDL concepts is described. A contribution of this research is that data defined using one model may be viewed through the interface defined for another.
The general objective of this research is to provide database support for ECAD activities. Two of the current characteristics of the field that influence our research are
ffl the diversity of software tools and infrastructures provided by numerous vendors, and
ffl the advent of related, but not yet interoperable, standards for ECAD specification.
?Research supported by NSF Grant IRI-9210200.
There is both commonality and diversity in the current ECAD software milieu; the commonality is due to the well-defined domain (hardware description) and the diversity is due to the spectrum of design activities and applications. Our goal in this paper is to provide a basis for a sound and systematic means for harmonization of standard information models. We adopt the multi-level approach of Wilkes and Scholz  for organizing information models. In this paper, we expand our previous work on developing a hierarchy of related information models  by focusing on developing mapping mechanisms to associate corresponding equivalent concepts between information models. In particular, example mappings between CFI DR 2.0 and VHDL concepts are provided.
Figure 1 shows a sample organization of our meta-model for the ECAD domain. The meta-model uses generalization/specialization abstraction mechanisms with inheritance for organizing multiple models. The different layers represent parts of the domain that are of interest to the developer and are specialized in the direction of the arrows. Figure 1(a) depicts the Primary Layer, a collection of models consisting of an Object Model (the most general model), a Core ECAD Model (modeling the general ECAD entities), and a Version Model . We do not propose versioning mechanisms in our research; however, the meta-model can accommodate a sufficiently general mechanism. The Core ECAD Model allows design objects to be modeled as molecular objects with an interface and an implementation . Design cells,