Foundations of Information Systems
Course infoSchedule
Course moduleNWI-I00035
Credits (ECTS)6
CategoryMA (Master)
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byRadboud University; Faculty of Science; Informatica en Informatiekunde;
dr. P. van Bommel
Other course modules lecturer
dr. P. van Bommel
Other course modules lecturer
Contactperson for the course
dr. P. van Bommel
Other course modules lecturer
dr. P. van Bommel
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2020
KW3-KW4  (25/01/2021 to 31/08/2021)
Starting block
Course mode
Registration using OSIRISYes
Course open to students from other facultiesYes
Waiting listNo
Placement procedure-
In this course we study foundations of information systems in detail. These fundamental aspects will be organized around the notion of model transformation, in particular transformation of information models:
  • Basic information language with a suitable representation mechanism.
  • Complexity of the representation mechanism.
  • Wellformedness conditions for representations, with a parameterized generation algorithm.
  • Correctness proof of generation algorithms.
  • Rule-based population transformation and operation transformation.
  • Distinction between generation operators and mutation operators.
Examples of transformations are the following. Data format may change when it is transferred between systems, including changes in data structure, data model, data schema, data types. Interpretation of data may vary when it is passed on from one person to another. Changes in interpretation belong to data semantics rather than data structure. Level of detail may change when exchanging data between departments or organizations, for example going from co-workers to managers or from local authorities to central government. Systems development phase of data models may vary, for example when implementation-independent models are mapped to implementation-oriented models.
We will specify the syntax and semantics of concrete model transformations. This will lead us to a framework for reasoning about transformations, in which different design strategies can be considered, for example quality-driven design strategies. Our study of foundations has a theoretical nature, but practical cases will also be considered.

Instructional modes
  • Lecture
  • Self-study
Master level.
Presumed foreknowledge
It would be good if you have some experience with information models, for example the relational model or the entity-relationship model (or a similar model). Furthermore, it would be good if you can handle basic mathematical definitions.
Test information
During the semester, the students will do a project, in which they apply and evaluate the theory discussed in the lectures. The project must result in a project report. The project report also includes a proposal for the improvement or extension of the theory. The final grade for this course is determined on the basis of the project report.
Required materials
The lecture notes
Course guide
Instructions for the student paper

Recommended materials
Professional texts
Related work about data modelling and data transformation
Suggestions for further reading.

Instructional modes
Course occurrence


Test weight1
Test typePaper
OpportunitiesBlock KW4, Block KW4