Database reverse engineering: From the relational to the binary relationship model

Peretz Shoval, Nili Shreiber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


This paper describes an algorithmic method for transforming a relational database schema to a binary-relationship one. The source schema may consist of relations that are at any level of normalization, and the designer may add semantic information on the source schema, such as the definition of candidate keys, foreign keys, functional dependencies of various types, multi-valued dependencies, many-to-many constraints, inclusion dependencies, and others. Based on this information, the multi-stage transformation algorithm applies mapping rules to generate object-types, binary-relationships and constraints in the target conceptual schema. The method is implemented as a PC-based tool, utilizing Ingres, SQL and C, and is part of a comprehensive database design tool for both forward and reverse engineering.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293-315
Number of pages23
JournalData and Knowledge Engineering
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1993


  • CASE tools
  • Database reverse engineering
  • binary-relationship model
  • conceptual schema
  • database design
  • re-engineering
  • relational model
  • schema transformation
  • software engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems and Management


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