Historically, perhaps the most general paradigm for scientists has been decomposition —as with, e.g., 'elements' in chemistry, and the basic structures/processes of theoretical physics. Knowledge representation research is encouraging a somewhat comparable activity in computer science, by way of the study of knowledge representation structures and knowledge representation systems. Symbol sets, rules of usage (including divergent inferencing engines) and conceptual primitives are among the entities involved in this process of decomposition.
Sedelow, Walter A. Jr.
Journal of the Arkansas Academy of Science: Vol. 43
, Article 25.
Available at: http://scholarworks.uark.edu/jaas/vol43/iss1/25