This Article 
 Bibliographic References 
 Add to: 
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.

[1] S. Ceri, S.B. Navathe, and C. Batini, Conceptual Database Design, An Entity-Relationship Approach, Benjamin/Cummings, 1992.
[2] P.P. Chen, “The Entity‐Relationship Model: Toward a Unified View of Data,” ACM Trans. Database Systems, Vol. 1, No. 1, Jan. 1976, pp. 9–36.
[3] C.J. Date, An Introduction to Database Systems, Volume 1.Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley, 1990.
[4] C.E. Dyreson and R.T. Snodgrass,“Valid-time indeterminacy,” Proc. Int’l Conf. Data Eng., pp. 335-343,Vienna, Austria, Apr. 1993.
[5] C.E. Dyreson and R.T. Snodgrass, "Temporal Granularity and Indeterminacy: Two Sides of the Same Coin," Technical Report TR 94-06, Univ. of Arizona, Dept. of Computer Science, Feb. 1994.
[6] C.E. Dyreson and R.T. Snodgrass, "Temporal Granularity," R.T. Snodgrass, ed., TSQL2 Temporal Query Language, ch. 19, pp. 347-383, Kluwer, 1995.
[7] C.E. Dyreson and R.T. Snodgrass, "Temporal Indeterminacy," R.T. Snodgrass, ed., TSQL2 Temporal Query Language, ch. 18, pp. 327-346, Kluwer, 1995.
[8] R. Elmasri, I. El-Assal, and V. Kouramajian, "Semantics of Temporal Data in an Extended ER Model," Proc. Ninth Int'l Conf. Entity-Relationship Approach, pp. 239-254, Oct. 1990.
[9] R. Elmasri and V. Kouramajian, "A Temporal Query Language for a Conceptual Model," N.R. Adam and B.K. Bhargava, eds., Advanced Database Systems, Lecture Notes in Computer Science 759, ch. 9, pp. 175-195,Berlin: Springer-Verlag, 1993.
[10] R. Elmasri and S.B. Navathe, Fundamentals of Database Systems, second ed., Benjamin/Cummings, 1994.
[11] R. Elmasri, G. Wuu, and V. Kouramajian, "A Temporal Model and Query Language for EER Databases," A. Tansel et al., eds., Temporal Databases: Theory, Design, and Implementation, ch. 9, pp. 212-229, Database Systems and Applications Series, Benjamin/ Cummings, 1993.
[12] D. Whitfield and M.L. Soffa, "Automatic Generation of Global Optimizers," Proc. ACM SIGPLAN'91 Conf. Programming Language Design and Implementation (PLDI'91), pp. 120-129,Toronto, Canada, June 1991.
[13] S. Ferg, "Modeling the Time Dimension in an Entity-Relationship Diagram," Proc. Fourth Int'l Conf. Entity-Relationship Approach, pp. 280-286, 1985.
[14] S.K. Gadia and C.-S. Yeung, “A Generalized Model for a Relational Temporal Database,” Proc. ACM SIGMOD Int'l Conf. Management of Data, 1988.
[15] T. Hadzilacos and N. Tryfona, "An Extended Entity-Relationship Model for Geographic Applications," technical report, Computer Technology Inst., Greece, 1996.
[16] C.S. Jensen, J. Clifford, R. Elmasri, S.K. Gadia, P. Hayes and S. Jajodia, eds., "A Glossary of Temporal Database Concepts," ACM SIGMOD Record, vol. 23, no. 1, pp. 52-64, Mar. 1994.
[17] C.S. Jensen and R.T. Snodgrass, “Semantics of Time-Varying Information,” Information Systems, vol. 21, no. 4, pp. 311-352, 1996.
[18] M.R. Klopprogge,“TERM: An approach to include the time dimension in the entity-relationshipmodel,” Proc. Int’l Conf. Entity Relationship Approach, pp. 477-512,Washington, D.C., Oct. 1981.
[19] M.R. Klopprogge and P.C. Lockmann, "Modeling Information Preserving Databases; Consequences of the Concept of Time," Proc. Int'l Conf. VLDB,Florence, Italy, 1983.
[20] P. Kraft, "Temporale Kvaliteter i ER Modeller. Hvordan?", working paper 93, Dept. of Information Science, Aarhus School of Business, Jan. 1996.
[21] V.S. Lai, J-P. Kuilboer, and J.L. Guynes, "Temporal Databases: Model Design and Commercialization Prospects," DATA BASE, vol. 25, no. 3, pp. 6-18, 1994.
[22] P. McBrien, A.H. Seltveit, and B. Wangler, "An Entity-Relationship Model Extended to Describe Historical Information," Proc. Int'l Conf. Information Systems and Management of Data, pp. 244-260, July 1992.
[23] L.E. McKenzie, Jr. and R.T. Snodgrass, “Evaluation of Relational Algebras Incorporating the Time Dimension in Databases,” ACM Computing Surveys, vol. 23, no. 4, pp. 501–543, 1991.
[24] A. Narasimhalu, "A Data Model for Object-Oriented Databases with Temporal Attributes and Relationships," technical report, National Univ. of Singapore, 1988.
[25] C. Parent and S. Spaccapietra, "ERC+: An Object-Based Entity Relationship Model," P. Loucopoulos and R. Zicari, eds., Conceptual Modeling, Databases, and CASE, ch. 3, pp. 69-86, John Wiley&Sons, 1992.
[26] J.F. Roddick and J.D. Patrick,“Temporal semantics in information systems—a survey,” Information Systems, vol. 17, no. 3, pp. 249-267, 1992.
[27] A. Silberschatz, H.F. Kort, and S. Sudarshan, Database System Concepts. McGraw-Hill, third ed., 1999.
[28] R.T. Snodgrass, “The Temporal Query Language TQuel,” ACM Trans. Database Systems, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 247–298, 1987.
[29] R.T. Snodgrass, "Temporal Databases," Proc. Int'l Conf. GIS: From Space to Territory, vol. 639of Lecture Notes in Computer Science, pp. 22-64. Springer-Verlag, Sept. 1992.
[30] R. Snodgrass, "Temporal Object Oriented Databases: A Critical Comparison," Modern Database Systems: The Object Model, Interoperability, and Beyond, ch.. 19, W. Kim, ed., pp. 386-408. Addison-Wesley/ACM Press, 1995.
[31] The TSQL2 Temporal Query Language. R.T. Snodgrass, ed., Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1995.
[32] R.T. Snodgrass, Böhlen M., C.S. Jensen, and A. Steiner, "Change Proposal to SQL/Temporal: Adding Valid Time" Part A, O. Etzion, S. Jajodia, and S. Sripada, eds., Temporal Databases: Research and Practice, pp. 150-194, Lecture Notes in Computer Science 1,399, Springer-Verlag, 1998.
[33] B. Tauzovich, "Toward Temporal Extensions to the Entity-Relationship Model," Proc. 10th Int'l Conf. Entity Relationship Approach, pp. 163-179, Oct. 1991.
[34] T.J. Teorey, Database Modeling and Design, Data Management Systems Series, Morgan Kaufmann, 1990.
[35] C. Theodoulidis, B. Wangler, and P. Loucopoulos, "The Entity Relationship Time Model," Conceptual Modelling, Databases, and CASE: An Integrated View of Information Systems Development, ch. 4, pp. 87-115, John Wiley&Sons, 1992.
[36] C.I. Theodoulidis and P. Loucopoulos, "The Time Dimension in Conceptual Modelling," Information Systems, vol. 16, no. 3, pp. 273-300, 1991.
[37] C.I. Theodoulidis, P. Loucopoulos, and B. Wangler, "A Conceptual Modelling Formalism for Temporal Database Applications," Information Systems, vol. 16, no. 4, pp. 401-416, 1991.
[38] G. Wiederhold, S. Jajodia, and W. Litwin, "Dealing with Granularity of Time in Temporal Databases," Proc. Nordic Conf. Advanced Information Systems Eng., R. Anderson et al., eds., pp. 124-140. Springer, 1991,
[39] E. Zimanyi, C. Parent, S. Spaccapietra, and A. Pirotte, "TERC+: A Temporal Conceptual Model," Proc. Int'l Symp. Digital Media Information Base, Nov. 1997.

Index Terms:
Conceptual modeling, Entity-Relationship models, database design, temporal databases, temporal data models, design criteria for temporal ER models, time semantics.
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
Usage of this product signifies your acceptance of the Terms of Use.