Database design has long been recognized as a difficult problem, requiring a great deal of skill on the part of the designer. Research has been carried out that provides methodologies and rules for creating good designs. There have even been attempts to automate the design process. However, before these can be truly successful, methodologies and tools are needed that can incorporate and use domain knowledge. In this research, a methodology for supporting database design is proposed that makes use of domain-specific knowledge about an application, which is stored in the form of ontologies. The ontologies provide information that is useful in both the creation of new designs and the verification of existing ones. They also capture the constraints of an application domain. A methodology for assisting database design that takes advantage of the ontologies has been implemented in a prototype system. Initial testing of the prototype illustrates that the incorporation and use of ontologies are effective in creating database design.
Sugumaran, Vijayan and Storey, Veda, "Supporting Database Designers in Entity-Relationship Modeling: An Ontology- Based Approach" (2003). ICIS 2003 Proceedings. 6.