University of Cincinnati Lindner College of Business

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Developing a Dependency Descriptive Entity Relationship Diagram

Author(s): Andrew Harrison, Narayan Umanath

Status: Published
Year: 2017
Publication Name: SIGSAND 2017


The conventional approach to database design follows a process from conceptual modeling to logical modeling and ultimately to physical design. Typically, the conceptual model is built as an ERD from business rules and the data model is not validated through the normalization process until the logical layer of design. We provide an ER grammar and modeling method, which we refer to as Dependency Descriptive Entity Relationship Diagram (DDERD), that transfers database validation processes into the conceptual layer of design. Specifically, the DDERD includes the functions of the Directed-Arc Model and Dependency Diagrams, which are traditional tools used to normalize a model during the logical layer of design. The DDERD extends the conceptual design process to include the validation of relationships between entities and between attributes. This approach provides a better understanding of conceptual semantics for novice database designers and leads to a faster, more accurate, database design.


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