The Horizon Problem Paradigm

The Horizon Problem Paradigm attempts to clarify issues related to project scope and boundaries that affect the reusability of objects in the data model.


  • The entity-attribute-relationship meta-model used by most data modelers, and all data modeling tools, is wrong.
  • The distinction between attribute and relationship properties is highly contextual, based on the scope horizon of the project.
  • Attributes are relationships at the horizon of analysis.
  • Expand the horizon, and the attributes become relationships to additional entities identified by those attributes.


  • Occurence of multiple or recurring attributes and relationship pairs that represent the same fact in different contextx throughout the data model.

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