Bernhard Thalheim

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Bernhard Thalheim
Born (1952-03-10) March 10, 1952 (age 69)
Alma materDresden University of Technology
Lomonosov Moscow State University
Known forConceptual modeling and its theoretical foundation
AwardsPeter P. Chen Award of Elsevier for Entity-Relationship Model Research
Scientific career
FieldsComputer science
Lomonosov Moscow State University
Brandenburg Technical University
University of Rostock
Dresden University of Technology
WebsiteOfficial website

Bernhard Karl Thalheim (born 1952) is a German computer scientist and Professor of Information Systems Engineering at the University of Kiel who is known for conceptual modeling and its theoretical foundational contributions.


Born in Radebeul near Dresden, Germany, Thalheim received his M.Sc. in Mathematics and Computer science in 1975 at the Dresden University of Technology, his PhD in Discrete mathematics in 1979 at the Lomonosov Moscow State University, and his Habilitation in Theoretical computer science in 1985 at the Dresden University of Technology.

From 1986 to 1989 Thalheim was an Associate Professor at the Dresden University of Technology. In 1989 he moved to the University of Rostock, where he was Professor until 1993. From 1993 to 2003 he was Dean and Full Professor at the Brandenburg Technical University, and since 2003 he is Professor at the Christian-Albrechts-Universität of Kiel. Thalheim has been Visiting Professor at the Kuwait University; at the University of Klagenfurt, Austria; at the Alfréd Rényi Institute of Mathematics, Hungarian Academy of Sciences; and at Massey University at Palmerston North, New Zealand.

Thalheim has received a number of awards for his achievements in information systems engineering. He was honored in 2005 as the Kolmogorov Professor h.c. at the Lomonosov Moscow State University,[1] on 22. 10. 2008 received the Peter P. Chen Award of Elsevier for Entity–relationship model research,[2] is the founder of the German Chapter of DAMA, international Vice-Chair of the steering committee of the FoIKS conferences, Member of steering committees of conferences, e.g. ER, ADBIS, ASM, NLDB Editor of Data and Knowledge Engineering and other journals, and member of the advisory board of Dataport.[3]


Conceptual modeling[edit]

The foundational contributions to conceptual modeling theory[4] and Science of Conceptual Modeling[5] of Thalheim can be found at multiple levels and abstractions, such as:

With this work Thalheim contributed to the formalization and theoretical underpinning of conceptual modeling.

His ideas about conceptual modeling foundations and theory have been applied in field as:

  • Semantics in databases for generalized functional dependencies for user-friendly database designing,
  • Co-design as a holistic approach for collaboration and corporation in design of information systems applications,
  • Micro, meso and macro levels of users work leading to the development of collaboration frameworks for distributed Web information systems,
  • Conceptualization of theories in various application areas for the foundation of content management systems,
  • Model suites as the design theory and foundation of multi-model engineering for handling information system models and their evolution complexities,
  • Business process modeling and notations beyond business process modeling leading to database management foundations, and
  • The systematic development of internet sites leading to Web information systems.

Higher Order Extended Entity–relationship model[edit]

The Higher Order Extended Entity–relationship model (HERM) and dependencies in relational databases serve as the foundation of many systems analysis and design methodologies, computer-aided software engineering tools, and repository systems. The HERM Model is the basis for wide number of commercial projects in Germany and Europe, and is commonly cited as the definite reference for foundations of database management systems and entity–relationship modeling. The approach has been ranked as one of the top methodologies for database design and systems development by several surveys of high-profile companies.[citation needed] A web information system (WIS) is an information system that can be accessed through the world – wide – web. On a high level of abstraction a WIS can be described by a storyboard which in an abstract way specific who will be using the system, in which way and for which goals. (B. THALHEIM, 2000)

Other developments[edit]

  • RADD : Rapid application and database development (toolbox for development of structures, constraints, functions, views and interfaces for database systems)
  • VisualSQL : Visual database querying


Bernhard Thalheim published several books, papers and articles.

Selected books[edit]

  • 2011. Handbook of Conceptual Modeling: Theory, Practice, and Research Challenges. With David W. Embley(eds.), Springer ISBN 978-3642158643
  • 2011. Semantics in Data and Knowledge Bases. With Klaus-Dieter Schewe (eds.), 4th International Workshops, SDKB 2010, Bordeaux, France, July 5, 2010, Revised Selected Papers Springer.
  • 2010. Advances in Databases and Information Systems - 14th East European Conference. With Barbara Catania, and Mirjana Ivanovic (eds.), ADBIS 2010, Novi Sad, Serbia, September 20–24, Proceedings Springer.
  • 2008. Semantics in Data and Knowledge Bases. With Klaus-Dieter Schewe (eds.), Third International Workshop, SDKB 2008, Nantes, France, March 29, 2008, Revised Selected Papers Springer.
  • 2008. Web Information Systems Engineering - WISE 2008. With James Bailey, David Maier, Klaus-Dieter Schewe, and Xiaoyang Sean Wang (eds.), 9th International Conference, Auckland, New Zealand, September 1–3, 2008. Proceedings Springer.
  • 2007. Conceptual Modeling - ER 2007. With Christine Parent, Klaus-Dieter Schewe, and Veda C. Storey (eds.), 26th International Conference on Conceptual Modeling, Auckland, New Zealand, November 5–9, 2007, Proceedings Springer.
  • 2004. Abstract State Machines 2004. Advances in Theory and Practice. with Wolf Zimmermann(eds.) 11th International Workshop, ASM, Lutherstadt Wittenberg, Germany, May 24–28, 2004. Proceedings Springer,
  • 2004. Web Information Systems. With Christoph Bussler, Suk-ki Hong, Woochun Jun, Roland Kaschek, Kinshuk, Shonali Krishnaswamy, Seng Wai Loke, Daniel Oberle, Debbie Richards, Amit Sharma, and York Sure (eds.), WISE 2004 International Workshops, Brisbane, Australia, November 22–24, 2004. Proceedings Springer.
  • 2003. Semantics in Databases. With Leopoldo E. Bertossi, Gyula O. H. Katona, and Klaus-Dieter Schewe (eds.), Second International Workshop, Dagstuhl Castle, Germany, January 7–12, 2001, Revised Papers Springer.
  • 2003. Advances in Databases and Information Systems. With Leonid A. Kalinichenko, Rainer Manthey, and Uwe Wloka (eds.),7th East European Conference, ADBIS 2003, Dresden, Germany, September 3–6, 2003, Proceedings Springer.
  • 2000. Entity-Relationship Modeling Foundations of Database Technology. Springer, Berlin 2000, ISBN 3-540-65470-4.
  • 2000. Current Issues in Databases and Information Systems, East-European Conference on Advances in Databases and Information Systems. With Julius Stuller, Jaroslav Pokorný, and Yoshifumi Masunaga (eds.), Held Jointly with International Conference on Database Systems for Advanced Applications, ADBIS-DASFAA 2000, Prague, Czech Republic, September 5–8, 2000, Proceedings Springer.
  • 2000. Foundations of Information and Knowledge Systems. With Klaus-Dieter Schewe (eds.), First International Symposium, FoIKS 2000, Burg, Germany, February 14–17, 2000, Proceedings Springer.
  • 1999. Conceptual Modeling: Current Issues and Future Directions (Lecture Notes in Computer Science) With Peter Chen, Jacky Akoka, and Hannu Kangassalo (eds.).
  • 1991. Dependencies in relational databases. published by Teubner.
  • 1989. Practical Database Design Methodologies. Kuwait University Press.


  • 1984-2011: 316 publications, 23 main publications, 212 peer-reviewed publications, 81 other publications, 97 manuscripts, pre-prints, submitted and accepted papers


  1. ^ "Putin verleiht Informatiker der Kieler Uni russische Ehrenprofessur" [Putin grants honorary professorship to computer scientist from Kiel University] (in German). University of Kiel. 7 September 2005. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
  2. ^ "Peter P. Chen Awardees". Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
  3. ^ "Beirat zur Unternehmensentwicklung" [Advisory Board for Business Development]. Dataport (in German). Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
  4. ^ "Towards a Theory of Conceptual Modeling". J. UCS 16(20): 3102-3137 (2010)
  5. ^ The Science of Conceptual Modeling. DEXA (1) 2011: 12-26
  6. ^ Entity-Relationship Modeling Foundations of Database Technology, Springer, Berlin 2000, ISBN 3-540-65470-4
  7. ^ 'Dependencies in relational databases published by Teubner in 1991
  8. ^ Handbook of Conceptual Modeling: Theory, Practice, and Research Challenges, Springer 2011 - Hardback - 589 pages - ISBN 3-642-15864-1

External links[edit]