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Is an association class in UML the same as an Link entity in ERD?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

It's not strictly necessary to have an association class to model a M:M relationship. You can just have classes with references to the two parents that would map directly to a link entity. Semantically, an association class would limit you to one relationship between two entities.

A short blurb on association classes can be found here.

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