A little provenance goes a long way

October 11th, 2013 § 1 comment § permalink

PROV is a rich vocabulary that was designed to tackle a variety of use cases.   The Provenance Working Group worked really hard to design PROV to facilitate its adoption.  In our book, Paul and I provide many recipes to design, deploy, and use provenance in the context of a complex data journalism scenario.

However, we argue that identifying a resource, exposing its authors with attribution, and expressing what it  is derived from, already goes a long way towards a provenance-enabled Web.

Echoing Jim Hendler‘s quote  A Little Semantics Goes a Long Way, Paul and I conclude the ProvBook with a quote of our own:

A little provenance goes a long way

How could “we eat our own dog food” and express the provenance of this quote?

Simple, with the following Turtle snippet:

@prefix prov: <http://www.w3.org/ns/prov#>.
@prefix provbook: <http://www.provbook.org/>.

provbook:a-little-provenance-goes-a-long-way a prov:Entity;
prov:value "A little provenance goes a long way";
prov:wasAttributedTo provbook:Paul ;
prov:wasAttributedTo provbook:Luc ;
prov:wasDerivedFrom <http://www.cs.rpi.edu/~hendler/LittleSemanticsWeb.html>.

We have identified the quote, with url http://www.provbook.org/a-little-provenance-goes-a-long-way. For convenience, we provided a copy of the quote itself (using property prov:value). We identified Paul and myself as the authors. And finally, we gave credit to Jim, by indicating that our quote was inspired by his: this notion is called Derivation, and is expressed with the property wasDerivedFrom.

All these statements can be represented graphically. Yellow ellipses represent entities whereas orange pentagons represent agents in PROV; agents here are the authors of the quote.




Apply this motto in your own context, and publish simple provenance statements about your resources. Really, a little provenance goes a long way …


Provenance: An Introduction to PROV is now available

September 13th, 2013 § 2 comments § permalink

We are excited to announce the availability of Provenance: An Introduction to PROV . This is the 7th of Morgan and Claypool’s Synthesis Lectures on the Semantic Web edited by Jim Hendler and Ying Ding. We are proud that our book is part of this series which describes the technologies and practices that are creating a more machine  readable web.

In this book, we have tried to give a practical and insightful look at the W3C PROV recommendations for provenance interchange. While PROV is already being adopted, we believe that a introduction focused on the usage of provenance and answering key use cases would be beneficial to those looking to leverage PROV in their systems.

We hope you find the book useful and we are looking forward to your feedback. On this blog, we’ll keep you informed about PROV related topics.


Luc Moreau and Paul Groth