An Improved Generic ER Schema for Conceptual Modeling of Information Systems

by   Dhammika Pieris, et al.

The Entity-Relationship (ER) model is widely used for creating ER schemas for modeling application domains in the field of Information Systems development. However, when an ER schema is transformed to a Relational Database Schema (RDS), some important information on the ER schema may not be represented meaningfully on the RDS. This causes a loss of information during the transformation process. Although, several previous researches have proposed solutions to remedy the situation, the problem still exists. Thus, in this on-going research, we wish to improve the proposed solutions and maximize information preservation in the ER to relational transformation process. Cardinality ratio constraints, role names, composite attributes, and certain relationship types are among the information frequently lost in the transformation process. Deficiencies in the ER model and the transformation method seems to cause this situation. We take the view that if the information lost is resolved; a one-to-one mapping should exist from the ER schema to its RDS. We modified the ER model and the transformation algorithm following a heuristic research method with a view to eliminating the deficiencies and thereby achieving a one-to-one mapping. We should show that the mapping exists for any real-world application. We create a generic ER schema - an ER schema that represents any phenomena in symbolic form - and use it to show that a one-to-one mapping exists for any real-world application. In this paper, we explore our generic ER schema and its advantages over its predecessors in view of representing any real-world application.


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