A multi-level architecture for representing enterprise data models

  • Daniel Moody
Session 6a: Applied Modeling
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 1331)


One of the most serious limitations of the Entity Relationship Model in practice is its inability to cope with complexity. With large numbers of entities, data models become difficult to understand and maintain. The problem becomes unmanageable at the enterprise level, where models typically consist of hundreds of entities. A number of approaches have been proposed in the literature to address this problem, but none have achieved widespread acceptance in practice. This paper proposes a simple and natural extension to the Entity Relationship Model which allows enterprise data models to be represented at multiple levels of abstraction, from a one page overview down to primitive entities and relationships. The model may be organised into any number of levels, depending on its complexity. The technique is based on the organisation of a city street directory, which is a practical solution to the problem of representing a large and complex model in everyday life.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel Moody
    • 1
  1. 1.Simsion Bowles & AssociatesMelbourneAustralia

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