Relational Database Reverse Engineering

Elicitation of Generalization Hierarchies
  • Jacky Akoka
  • Isabelle Comyn-Wattiau
  • Nadira Lammari
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 1727)


This paper describes a method aiming at the extraction of generalization/specialization hierarchies contained in a relational database. This reverse engineering approach takes advantage of two major characteristies: first, we use DDL and DML specifications as well as data in a combined way, secondly, we provide not only generalization/specialization hierarchies but also integrity constraints allowing us to elicit the generalization/specialization links hidden in the structures and instances of the database. The result of the process consists of an enriched conceptual representation of the relational database. This approach is mainly based on heuristics. The heuristic rules map a relational meta-model onto a conceptual one. They are divided into three categories: semantics suspicion rules, reinforcement rules and confirmation rules. We illustrate our approach using a fairly complex example. Some extensions are discussed.


Relational Database Reverse Engineering Conceptual Schema Reverse Engineer Generalization Link 
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 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jacky Akoka
    • 1
    • 4
  • Isabelle Comyn-Wattiau
    • 2
  • Nadira Lammari
    • 3
  1. 1.CEDRIC labCNAM (Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers)PARIS Cedex 03France
  2. 2.ESSEC (Ecole Supérieure des Sciences Economiques et Commerciales) & PRiSM labUniversité de VersaillesAv. B. HirschCERGY CedexFrance
  3. 3.CEDRIC labCNAM (Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers)France
  4. 4.INT (Institut National des Télécommunications)France

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