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Two Stage Entity Relationship System

The Two-stage Entity-Relationship (TSER) system is an information modeling CASE tool encompassing the following generic concepts: entity-relationship model, object-oriented paradigm, rule-based method and process representation, to support databases and rule-based systems design. Although TSER has its own unique design and methodology which can be used directly and independently, it is also compatible with common perspectives of modeling that the user may choose to employ; all of which lead to the same data and knowledge capabilities that the system offers.

The TSER method is used to develop a particular metamodel which provides a compact solution to multi-model integration problem by way of a metadatabase model.

The substantiation of the meta-model concept in this system spans three levels:

Paradigm

(1) At the modeling (or metadata) level, the meta-model is a neutral paradigm serving as the common representation method that all paradigms are translated into.

Unified Metadatabase

(2) At the models integration (or metadata management) level, the meta-model is a generic metadata schema abstracting and structuring all models into an integrated enterprise metadatabase.

GIRD

(3) At the information management (or data instances) level, the meta-model is the integrated enterprise model contained in the metadatabase.

Distributed MDB
In large-scale systems, the metadatabase can be distributed in a recursive manner and constitutes a hierarchy of nodes as shown above, where, for simplicity, only three levels are shown. At the leaf, several of the application systems are represented in a sub- or mini-metadatabase. This mini-metadatabase then can be represented in the main metadatabase system such that the meni-metadatabase becomes the gateway to the application systems it represents.

The real significance of this hierarchy, however, is not its top-down construction, which is the predicament of virtually all other integration models; but rather its ability to effect bottom-up, incremental development and expansion i.e., scalable integration: the higher level nodes can be constructed from the ones immediately below it.

A key element in this bottom-up, scale-up approach is the GIRD meta-model discussed above. This structure allows new application models to be incorporated into a metadatabase without disrupting the current systems.

 

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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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