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Re: ProvenanceContainer (Re: Workflow Example in Formal Model HTML document)

From: Paolo Missier <Paolo.Missier@ncl.ac.uk>
Date: Thu, 29 Sep 2011 10:31:27 +0100
Message-ID: <4E843AEF.7050406@ncl.ac.uk>
To: Luc Moreau <L.Moreau@ecs.soton.ac.uk>
CC: Provenance Working Group WG <public-prov-wg@w3.org>, Satya Sahoo <satya.sahoo@case.edu>, Khalid Belhajjame <Khalid.Belhajjame@cs.man.ac.uk>, Stian Soiland-Reyes <soiland-reyes@cs.manchester.ac.uk>, Daniel Garijo <dgarijov@gmail.com>, Timothy Lebo <lebot@rpi.edu>, James Cheney <jcheney@inf.ed.ac.uk>, "Deborah L. McGuinness" <dlm@cs.rpi.edu>
again, a parallel was made yesterday with an XML document, which defines a namespace and then a data structure (tree-structured 
elements) as its payload. In our case, the payload is a set of expressions and the Container / Document also contains the IDs for 
all accounts used in those expressions.


On 9/29/11 10:26 AM, Luc Moreau wrote:
> It's a good point, inline with mine below (not used to make a
> representation of something in the world),
> and also echoed by James in his response to Satya.
> Maybe, the origin of the confusion seems to reside in the term
> "container", which makes us
> think about a container in the world.  I am happy to adopt another term
> if more appropriate
> (e.g. ProvenanceBundle, ProvenanceDocument, ....).  Suggestions?
> Luc
> On 09/29/2011 09:04 AM, Paolo Missier wrote:
>> HI,
>> Khalid made what I thought was a very good point yesterday, and which
>> was recorded in the skype chat:
>> "If we assert that provenance container is a subclass of Entity, this
>> means that any bundle of provenance assertions characterize a thing,
>> which is not the case."
>> isn't that a key argument?
>> --Paolo
>> On 9/29/11 6:21 AM, Luc Moreau wrote:
>>> Hi Satya,
>>> A provenance container is not used to make a representation of
>>> something in the World. It is a construct to bundle assertions together.
>>> An entity expression *is* an assertion.
>>> A provenance container *is not* an assertion but contains assertions.
>>> I agree with you that your envelope contains letters. Both envelope
>>> and letters are things, one containing the other. That can be
>>> *represented* using collections and containment relationships.
>>> Professor Luc Moreau
>>> Electronics and Computer Science
>>> University of Southampton
>>> Southampton SO17 1BJ
>>> United Kingdom
>>> On 29 Sep 2011, at 03:11, "Satya
>>> Sahoo"<satya.sahoo@case.edu<mailto:satya.sahoo@case.edu>>   wrote:
>>> Hi Luc,
>>> We were not able to reach an agreement on how ProvenanceContainer is
>>> not a specialized type of Entity during our ontology call on Monday
>>> due to time constraints.
>>> To help better understand the differences and similarities, I copied
>>> the two definition from PROV-DM to two documents and tried to compare
>>> them side-by-side. The following are the two definitions:
>>> ===Entity====
>>> In PROV-DM, an entity expression is a representation of an
>>> identifiable characterized thing.
>>> ===ProvenanceContainer===
>>> A provenance container is a house-keeping construct of PROV-DM, also
>>> capable of bundling PROV-DM expressions. A provenance container is
>>> not an expression, but can be exploited to return all the provenance
>>> assertions in response to a request for the provenance of something
>>> ([PROV-PAQ]).
>>> According to the two definitions, a provenance container can be an
>>> "identifiable characterized thing" (not being an expression is not a
>>> conceptual constraint). Also, the ability to return all provenance
>>> assertions in response can be applied to an Agent also - similar to a
>>> software agent returning the current stock market quotes.
>>> Further, if an Entity "contains" provenance assertions it can still
>>> be an "identifiable characterized thing" thereby satisfying our
>>> current definition of Entity.
>>> During our ontology telcon today Paolo explained that the primary
>>> difference between Entity and Provenance Container is that Provenance
>>> Container can "contain" provenance assertions while Entity are
>>> assumed not to contain assertions. But, this seems to be an
>>> application-specific requirement.
>>> For example, for a person writing a 3-page letter the three pages
>>> will be instances of Entity and the envelope containing the three
>>> pages will be a container. But for the postal service personnel, who
>>> deal with thousands of envelopes per day, the envelope is an Entity
>>> (and a sack for transporting the envelopes will be a container).
>>> Hence, I believe the difference between what thing is a
>>> ProvenanceContainer or an Entity is an application-specific
>>> perspective/requirement and there is no fundamental difference
>>> between the two terms - except that Provenance terms seems to be a
>>> specialized form an Entity in the sense that Provenance Container
>>> contains provenance assertions, while an Entity may or may not
>>> contain provenance assertions.
>>> Paolo suggested that we should bring up this issue to the WG mailing
>>> list - hence I am cc'ing the mailing list also.
>>> Thanks.
>>> Best,
>>> Satya
>>> On Wed, Sep 28, 2011 at 3:58 AM, Luc
>>> Moreau<<mailto:L.Moreau@ecs.soton.ac.uk>L.Moreau@ecs.soton.ac.uk<mailto:L.Moreau@ecs.soton.ac.uk>>
>>> wrote:
>>> Hi,
>>> I thought we had already discussed this, but I see location as
>>> subtype of entity.
>>> Same issue as with provenance container.  This is not a subtype of
>>> entity.
>>> Luc
>>> -- 
>>> Professor Luc Moreau
>>> Electronics and Computer Science   tel:   +44 23 8059
>>> 4487<tel:%2B44%2023%208059%204487>
>>> University of Southampton          fax:   +44 23 8059
>>> 2865<tel:%2B44%2023%208059%202865>
>>> Southampton SO17 1BJ
>>> email:<mailto:l.moreau@ecs.soton.ac.uk>
>>> l.moreau@ecs.soton.ac.uk<mailto:l.moreau@ecs.soton.ac.uk>
>>> United Kingdom<http://www.ecs.soton.ac.uk/~lavm>
>>> http://www.ecs.soton.ac.uk/~lavm

-----------  ~oo~  --------------
Paolo Missier - Paolo.Missier@newcastle.ac.uk, pmissier@acm.org
School of Computing Science, Newcastle University,  UK
Received on Thursday, 29 September 2011 09:32:04 UTC

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