Enforcing cardinality constraints in the ER model with integrity methods

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Entity-Relationship (ER) schemas include cardinality constraints that restrict the dependencies among entities within a relationship type. The cardinality constraints have direct impact on application transactions, since insertions or deletions of entities or relationships might affect related entities. Application transactions can be strengthened to preserve the consistency of a database with respect to the cardinality constraints in a schema. Yet, once an ER schema is translated into a logical database schema, the direct correlation between the cardinality constraints and application transaction is lost, since the components of the ER schema might be decomposed among those of the logical database schema. We suggest extending the Enhanced-ER (EER) data model with integrity methods that can enforce the cardinality constraints. The integrity methods can be fully defined by the cardinality constraints, using a small number of primitive update methods, and are automatically created for a given EER diagram. A translation of an EER schema into a logical database schema can create integrity routines by translating the primitive update methods alone. These integrity routines may be implemented as database procedures, if a relational DBMS is utilized, or as class methods, if an object-oriented DBMS is utilized.
Original languageEnglish GB
Title of host publicationAdvanced Topics in Database Research, Volume 1
EditorsK. Siau
PublisherIGI Global
Number of pages16
StatePublished - 2002


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