N. Bassiliades, I. Vlahavas, “Modelling Constraints with Exceptions in Object-Oriented Databases”, Entity-Relationship Approach - ER'94, Business Modelling and Re-Engineering, 13th International Conference on the Entity-Relationship Approach, P. Loucopoulos (Ed.), Springer-Verlag, LNCS 881, pp. 189-204, Manchester, United Kingdom, December 1994.

Abstract: This paper deals with modelling constraints in object-oriented databases, with emphasis given on exceptions. Constraints are restrictions on properties and relations of database objects that ensure the integrity of data. Therefore, they should be obeyed by every object, but as in real-life, there are some exceptions to this rule. Object-oriented databases provide rich semantic constructs, adequate to model real-world relations. Inheritance of constraints in object-oriented databases has been treated in a completely mandatory way, providing no room for exceptions. In this paper, an object-oriented constraint representation scheme is presented, along with a methodology for modelling constraint exceptions. Finally, an algorithm is described that ensures correct run-time resolution of constraint applicability. Since business is not in abstract, but in real-world, business database modelling would be greatly benefited from a tool that allows both a clear definition and an efficient enforcement of constraints with exceptions.