The Category Concept: An Extension to the Entity-Relationship Model

Ramez Elmasri, James A. Weeldreyer, Alan R. Hevner


An enhanced version of the Entity-Relationship (ER) data model called the Entity-Category-Relationship (ECR) data model is presented. The principal extension is the introduction of the concept of a category. Categories permit the grouping of entities from different entity types according to the roles they play in a relationship, as well as the representation of ISA and generalization hierarchies. The structures of the ECR data model are defined, and a graphic representation technique for their display is presented. Language operations to define and use an ECR database are defined. Two realistic examples of the use of the ECR model for database design are demonstrated. The examples show how ECR structures can be directly mapped into relational and network structures. The definition of derived relationships on an ECR database gives the power to phrase higher order recursive queries in a first order query language.


Keywords: EER (Extended Entity-Relationship Model)0.8; (undefined keyword: ecr);


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