Conceptual modeling in the era of Big Data and Artificial Intelligence: Research topics and introduction to the special issue

Juan Trujillo, Karen C. Davis, Xiaoyong Du, Ernesto Damiani, Veda C. Storey

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

5 Scopus citations


Since the first version of the Entity–Relationship (ER) model proposed by Peter Chen over forty years ago, both the ER model and conceptual modeling activities have been key success factors for modeling computer-based systems. During the last decade, conceptual modeling has been recognized as an important research topic in academia, as well as a necessity for practitioners. However, there are many research challenges for conceptual modeling in contemporary applications such as Big Data, data-intensive applications, decision support systems, e-health applications, and ontologies. In addition, there remain challenges related to the traditional efforts associated with methodologies, tools, and theory development. Recently, novel research is uniting contributions from both the conceptual modeling area and the Artificial Intelligence discipline in two directions. The first one is efforts related to how conceptual modeling can aid in the design of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) algorithms. The second one is how Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning can be applied in model-based solutions, such as model-based engineering, to infer and improve the generated models. For the first time in the history of Conceptual Modeling (ER) conferences, we encouraged the submission of papers based on AI and ML solutions in an attempt to highlight research from both communities. In this paper, we present some of important topics in current research in conceptual modeling. We introduce the selected best papers from the 37th International Conference on Conceptual Modeling (ER’18) held in Xi'an, China and summarize some of the valuable contributions made based on the discussions of these papers. We conclude with suggestions for continued research.

Original languageBritish English
Article number101911
JournalData and Knowledge Engineering
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Big Data
  • Conceptual modeling
  • Machine learning


Dive into the research topics of 'Conceptual modeling in the era of Big Data and Artificial Intelligence: Research topics and introduction to the special issue'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this