A semantic comparison of the modelling capabilities of the ER and NIAM models

  • Alberto H. F. Laender
  • Donal J. Flynn
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 823)


Conceptual design (conceptual modelling) is the most important phase in database design as it results in a conceptual schema, which is a high-level description of the user requirements. Over the past decade, several data models, called semantic or conceptual models, have been proposed for conceptual design. Two of the most popular of these data models are the ER and NIAM models. In this paper we present a semantic comparison of the ER and NIAM models with a view to highlighting their similarities and differences, and to showing the major characteristics of each model. The comparison is divided in three parts. Firstly, we describe and compare the model constructs using a common terminology framework. We then compare their modelling capability by discussing the mapping of ER and NIAM schemas into the relational model. Finally, we relate the models to a checklist of conceptual modelling objectives.


Integrity Constraint Relation Schema Participation Constraint Cardinality Constraint Entity Class 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alberto H. F. Laender
    • 1
  • Donal J. Flynn
    • 2
  1. 1.Departamento de Ciência da ComputaçãoUniversidade Federal de Minas GeraisBelo Horizonte MGBrasil
  2. 2.Department of ComputationUMISTManchesterUK

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