S3DM (Signified-Sign-Signifier) or R3DM (Resource-Representation-Realization) is a conceptual, computational semiotics framework, conceived and pioneered by Athanassios I. Hatzis, that formalizes the architectural design of data modeling process in software engineering and the abstraction mechanism in computer science field. It is founded on the concept of Sign from Ancient to Modern Semiotics and the powerful theory of the semiotic triangle, a.k.a as triangle of reference.

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Technology and Applications

Associative Semiotic Hypergraph

S3DM/R3DM is the theory behind the software technology implemented and named Associative Semiotic Hypergraph:

  • Associative - Because of associative filtering mechanism, dictionary encoding and association construct
  • Semiotic - Because of the three distinct and separable layers in the system architecture:
    1. Metadata for data models and data resources
    2. Data, i.e. values stored at the physical level
    3. References, i.e. representation of both data and metadata with numeric vectors
  • Hypergraph - Because of the linking topology and the graph representation of Entities as HyperEdges and Attributes as HyperNodes.


Associative, semiotic, hypergraph technology has been applied in the design and implementation of several prototypes that demonstrate both the theoretical principles of R3DM/S3DM and the main technology aspects in practice.

S3DM/R3DM Posts

In Descending Chronological Order

Important design and implementation principle arising from studying relational data model theory

Both Topic Maps and RDF/OWL exhibit signs of aging. These signs do not indicate maturity levels but on the contrary they signal a …

Although there has been significant progress with first and second generation AI systems in reasoning, learning and perceiving, …

Associative entities are represented differently in various data models

The last part (6/6) of a series demonstrating Associative Semiotic Hypergraph technology