Coins 2.0 Core Model

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This page specifies the COINS 2.0 core model.

On this page the core model is explained in more detail.


UML-schema COINS 2.0 Core

This UML-schema shown in this figure shows the logic and readable definition of the COINS 2.0 standard. The formal definition is defined in OWL/RDF. These are international standards supported by the W3C-consortium.

The UML-schema is divided into 5 area's:

  1. identification and versioning; in this orange area on the left top of the UML-schema the identification and versioning of objects are determined
  2. object modelling; this (aubergine colored) area on the right top of the schema shows the ways how objects can be related to eachother
  3. properties; the purple area on the bottom right of the UML-schema shows the definitions of the properties used in COINS.
  4. document references; the blue area on the bottom-left of the UML-schema shows the different documenttypes that can be used within COINS.
  5. location; this green area describes the relations and classes needed for modelling the location of an object.


COINS is characterized by a flexible schema architecture, based on RDF(S) and OWL.

The Coins Core Model is an extension of the OWL Ontology Structure and is formally represented in a COINS entity model, expressed in RDF/XML. The model can be serialised in XML, JSON, NTriples or CSV.

The Core Model defines the minimal set of classes required for exchange of data: Objects, their Properties and their Connections (relationships between Objects).

The Core Model also contains additional definitions for Persons and Organisations, Versioning, Locators and Document References.

Reference Frameworks

The Core Model can be extended by defining Reference Frameworks. These Frameworks contain specific knowledge needed for the exchange of information.

From functional point of view, there are two types of frameworks:

  • “standard” frameworks; for implementing management- and control issues like the Window of Authorization framework (WoA)
  • “specific” frameworks; containing definitions for specific domains, for use of libraries and/or for project-specific needs.

Parties are free to define and use specific reference frameworks, e.g. for in-company usage, or for use in a limited scope during a specific project, providing these have been harmonised with the core model and do not contain any supplements that conflict with this model. This architecture enables a commonly accepted specific framework to migrate to a standard reference framework.

In order to be COINS compatible, software must support the COINS Core Model and the standard reference frameworks. Support of specific frameworks is optional

Relations between COINS objects

With COINS it is possible to relate objects in two ways:

  • Connection relation; this relation defines a relationship between objects. This relation can define all kinds of relationships. If you want to specify a direction between the related objects (e.g. for flow), you can use the DirectedConnection relation. That is a subtype of the Connection.
  • Contains relation for defining structures
    Contains relation; this relation specifies that an object is defined by its parts. This image shows the decomposition of a viaduct. It is divided into superstructure, substructure and foundation. The substructure contains of the column and pier cap.

See also

The update from COINS 1.1 to 2.0 is a major update. The differences are shown on page CoinsCore:Differences 1.1 - 2.0.