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Temporal Entity-Relationship Models-A Survey
May/June 1999 (vol. 11 no. 3)
pp. 464-497

Abstract—The Entity-Relationship (ER) model, using varying notations and with some semantic variations, is enjoying a remarkable, and increasing, popularity in both the research community—the computer science curriculum—and in industry. In step with the increasing diffusion of relational platforms, ER modeling is growing in popularity. It has been widely recognized that temporal aspects of database schemas are prevalent and difficult to model using the ER model. As a result, how to enable the ER model to properly capture time-varying information has, for a decade and a half, been an active area in the database-research community. This has led to the proposal of close to a dozen temporally enhanced ER models. This paper surveys all temporally enhanced ER models known to the authors. It is the first paper to provide a comprehensive overview of temporal ER modeling and it, thus, meets a need for consolidating and providing easy access to the research in temporal ER modeling. In the presentation of each model, the paper examines how the time-varying information is captured in the model and presents the new concepts and modeling constructs of the model. A total of 19 different design properties for temporally enhanced ER models are defined, and each model is characterized according the these properties.

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Index Terms:
Conceptual modeling, Entity-Relationship models, database design, temporal databases, temporal data models, design criteria for temporal ER models, time semantics.
Citation:
Heidi Gregersen, Christian S. Jensen, "Temporal Entity-Relationship Models-A Survey," IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering, vol. 11, no. 3, pp. 464-497, May-June 1999, doi:10.1109/69.774104
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