In this paper we study the interconnection between relationships and roles. We start from the patterns used to introduce relationships in object oriented languages, and we show how the role model proposed in powerJava can be used to define roles. In particular, we focus on how to implement roles in an abstract way in objects representing relationships, and to specify the interconnections between the roles. Abstract roles cannot be instantiated. To participate in a relationship, objects have to extend the abstract roles of the relationship. Only when roles are implemented in the objects offering them, they can be instantiated, thus allowing another object to play those roles.
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