DODAF - DOD Architecture Framework Version 2.02 - DOD Deputy Chief Information Officer

DM2 - DoDAF Meta-Model

Overview of the DM2 Ontologic Foundation

Relationship to Universal Core and the Zachman Framework interrogatives

Relationship of DM2 Principal Elements to DoD's Six Core Processes

Underlying the DM2 is a foundation of common ontologic constructs that facilitate the reuse of common data patterns, an overview of which is shown in the figure below.

Overview of DM2 Foundation

Overview of DM2 Foundation


The top-level foundation elements are:

  1. Thing, similar to other model’s object.
  2. Individual, a thing that exists as an indivisible whole, or as a single member of a category.
  3. Type, a set of individuals or classes of other sets or classes.
  4. Tuple, ordered places of things (e.g., a block in a spreadsheet or a table).

These foundation elements are similar to many other foundation high-level data constructs that exist in the industry. The common patterns that are reused are:

  1. Composition (or whole-part).
  2. Super/Sub Type (or generalization/specialization, e.g., tank or main battle tank).
  3. Before /After, for things that have time-related relationships in their Type.
  4. Overlap, e.g., for things that can exchange other things that are parts of themselves, things that occur at overlapping times and overlapping places.

Composition and Super/Sub Type apply to almost all architecture concepts. Before/After is frequently used to model before/after situations, while Interface applies to few concepts, limited at this time to the pattern describing Activity.

The benefits of adopting the IDEAS formal foundation and common patterns are:

  1. Re-use of common patterns saved a lot of work
  2. Model compactness through inheritance of superclass properties and common patterns
  3. Reconciliation and analysis tool.  The agreed-upon analysis principles provide a principled basis for issue analysis
  4. Information pedigree model
  5. Design reification and requirements traceability
  6. Services description
  7. Semantic precision.  Improved ability to integrate and analyze multiple heterogeneous EA datasets to fulfill EA purposes. 
  8. Mathematical precision

These benefits are described in detail in the DM2 Physical Exchange Specification description documents.