Definition of Attribute

Definition Last Updated 17-Dec-2015 12:51

An attribute is a state comprising one or more characteristics, i.e. observables1Though not necessarily under all circumstances, it must be observable in principle. or tags, that has been attributed2i.e. given to, from the latin attribuere (to give to) formed by composing ad (to) and tribuere (to give), typically implying intrinsicality or innateness; the appropriate verb for connecting characteristics to places and times in the absence of identified entities would be allocate, ad (to) and locare (to place). to a specific entity (i.e. some thing that has been identified3See the article on Entity for information on the identification of entities.). If the characteristic is named4Here name means a simple designator, such as mass; the characteristic whose name is mass could also be described as, “the intrinsic constant of proportionality between force and acceleration”. In general, anything that designates may be called a name, but some things are more naturally names than others., it may also be referred to as a property.

Behaviours and relationships are also attributes: a state may effectively describe an activity, which, when ascribed to an entity, may be referred to as a behaviour, and tags encode relationships, .

Distinct entities may have attributes bearing the same name: the assignment of characteristics to things is achieved via the specification of observations; this is discussed in detail in the main article.

Relationships

[Attribute] is [state] attributed to [entity]

[State] attributed to [entity] is [attribute]

[Entity] has [state] as [attribute]

Scope

Attribute is a defined term of Enterprise Architecture. Attribute is a defined term of Business Analysis.

Notes   [ + ]

1.Though not necessarily under all circumstances, it must be observable in principle.
2.i.e. given to, from the latin attribuere (to give to) formed by composing ad (to) and tribuere (to give), typically implying intrinsicality or innateness; the appropriate verb for connecting characteristics to places and times in the absence of identified entities would be allocate, ad (to) and locare (to place).
3.See the article on Entity for information on the identification of entities.
4.Here name means a simple designator, such as mass; the characteristic whose name is mass could also be described as, “the intrinsic constant of proportionality between force and acceleration”. In general, anything that designates may be called a name, but some things are more naturally names than others.

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