Using queries to improve database reverse engineering

  • J. -M. Petit
  • J. Kouloumdjian
  • J. -F. Boulicaut
  • F. Toumani
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 881)


This paper describes a technique that supports Extended Entity-Relationship (EER) schema extraction from an operating relational database. In this reverse engineering context, the two major decisions that have to be taken are the assumptions on the initial schema and where data semantic is extracted from. Original aspects of our method are manifold. First, it is based on realistic assumptions, e.g., there is no constraints on the uniqueness of the attribute names. Second, the dependencies between the attributes are not supposed to be known a priori. The method starts from the database schema as stored in the DBMS dictionary, i.e., the relation names, the attribute names and their basic characteristics (uniqueness of value, not null values). Finally, semantics extraction is supported by available queries analysis. It is shown how specific kinds of query can help to build an EER schema including is-a relationships and aggregates.


Database reverse engineering Semantics discovery Conceptual modelling Relational model Extended Entity-Relationship model 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. -M. Petit
    • 1
  • J. Kouloumdjian
    • 1
  • J. -F. Boulicaut
    • 1
  • F. Toumani
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire d'Ingénierie des Systèmes d'InformationINSA LyonVilleurbanne cedexFrance

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