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Re: Proposal on PROV-DM reorganization

From: Graham Klyne <graham.klyne@zoo.ox.ac.uk>
Date: Tue, 22 May 2012 07:16:22 +0100
Message-ID: <4FBB2F36.7070005@zoo.ox.ac.uk>
To: Luc Moreau <L.Moreau@ecs.soton.ac.uk>
CC: Paul Groth <p.t.groth@vu.nl>, Provenance Working Group WG <public-prov-wg@w3.org>
Luc,

I just took a quick look.  I think this is a useful improvement for someone 
approaching provenance.  I won't repeat here all the comments I made previously 
since you indicate this is a work-in-progress.

My main comment on your structure is that I think derivation in section 2 should 
be "up there" with entity and activity - I would probably aim to use this 
section to introduce the notion of a provenance trace.  Even if derivation is 
treated separately in section 5, for the introduction I think it's part of the 
entity-activity pattern.  (This comment is based on an understanding that 
derivation is an entity-entity relation that indicates there is a chain of 
used/generated property pairs between the entities.  But this isn't stated 
explicitly - am I misunderstanding something here?)

I can't see any purpose served by table 2.

In table 3, I'd suggest dropping the tick-columns for core/extended structures - 
I think the section cross-references are sufficient (though I note that some 
link to the wrong place - but I assume that's because this is WIP).  I'd also 
suggest including forward links to the corresponding sub-sections in section 5.

I think your section 2 can be made into a compact and easily-assimilated 
overview of core provenance structure.  Looking at this, I think the light-touch 
treatment here of the extension structures is also useful (which is 
back-tracking slightly on one of my earlier comments).  If we go ahead with this 
broad structure, I'll come back later and make more detailed editorial 
suggestions as seems appropriate.

I haven't yet looked in detail at the subsequent sections.  My main structural 
criteria for these would be that specific entries are easily located when the 
document is used for reference purposes, and the document structure seems to 
provide that.

With reference to your comments re. section 3 - I would be inclined to move it 
into the introduction section, but also to trim the explanation and rely more on 
the referenced prov-n document.  A brief description of the purpose of PROV-N, a 
link to the specification and maybe the examples should be enough, I think.

I (still) think the position of the example (section 4) between the overview 
(section 2) and the more detailed descriptions (section 5) breaks the flow of 
the reference material.  I think this is less of a problem than it was, as the 
first-time developer can switch from "sequential reading mode" to "reference mode"

#g
--


On 21/05/2012 22:32, Luc Moreau wrote:
> Hi Graham,
>
> I have been experimenting with section 2, and early preview
> is visible from
>
> https://dvcs.w3.org/hg/prov/raw-file/tip/model/working-copy/wd6-prov-dm-with-core.html
>
>
> Some responses to your comments.
>
>
> On 21/05/12 12:15, Graham Klyne wrote:
>> Hi Paul,
>>
>> Re: http://www.w3.org/2011/prov/wiki/ProvDM_ConsensusProposal
>>
>> I think this proposal is an improvement, though it goes less far than I
>> personally would choose. I would still prefer a stand-alone document covering
>> the core patterns, but there is apparently no appetite for that within the
>> working group so I shall not push that point.
>>
>> Beyond that, here are some specific suggestions relating to your proposal:
>>
>> 1. I'd prefer to see core patterns as a separate top level section rather than
>> a sub-section of the overview. I feel that would help to convey its role as a
>> self-contained set of related ideas around which the others structures and
>> terms can be used as needed.
>>
>
> I now have three subsections in section 2, respectively related to core,
> extended, and components.
> I feel they fit well in an overview section. Moving one or all of them to the
> toplevel would lead to a proliferation
> of toplevel sections, which I am not keen on.
>
>> 2. I'd like the diagram to be at the *start* of the core patterns, not at the
>> end. I believe it can provide a mental framework for a reader to relate the
>> concepts as they are described in the ensuing sections. I'd also suggest the
>> diagram (per current DM) be revised to be visually styled more like the one in
>> the PROV-O document. (I'll help with that if asked.)
>>
>
> Yes, it's done.
>
> The diagram was updated, using another tool.
> Now, one can possibly improve on the diagrams, but we do not want to introduce
> an ad-hoc graphical notation. We use UML for all our class diagrams.
>
>
>
>> 3. I would not separate Entities/Activities and Derivation into separate
>> sub-sections. When we talk about using provenance in applications, I note that
>> we most commonly talk about a "provenance trace" - and it is the
>> interconnection of entities, activities, generation and usage that gives us
>> derivation, which in my perception is a central element of a provenance trace.
>> Thus, I would suggest presenting these concepts together, then introducing
>> agents and associated inter-relationships in a separate sub-section. I think
>> this is what Tim suggested in the last teleconference.
>
> The reason for keeping this subsection is that I want to parallel the component
> structure.
> If people are happy with moving component 3 before component 2 (talk about
> derivations before agents),
> I am happy to do so. However, I received some push back.
>
>>
>> 4. I'm not sure that "advanced" is the best term for features that are not
>> part of the core pattern. I can live with it, but I'll also try and come up
>> with some alternatives.
>
> Now using extended.
>>
>> 5. I'm all for looking to improve modularity of the design, as you also
>> mention in your proposal.
>>
>
> It's an important aspect of the DM and therefore has been given an overview
> section in 2.3
>
>> 6. I'm not sure that it really adds any value to mark core patterns throughout
>> the document as you suggest. Once a reader has internalized the core patterns,
>> I think they're pretty obvious when they occur.
>>
>
> The only mark up occurs in tables 3/4, section 5. I am not proposing to do it
> anywhere else.
>
> Cheers,
> Luc
>
>> #g
>> --
>>
>>
>> On 20/05/2012 11:01, Paul Groth wrote:
>>> Hi All,
>>>
>>> During last week's telcon [1] the chairs were tasked to come-up with a
>>> proposal that tried to reflect consensus on reorganization of the data
>>> model. This would take into account both Graham's proposal [2] as well
>>> as the WG discusion and prior agreements.
>>>
>>> We've come up with with the following proposal:
>>>
>>> http://www.w3.org/2011/prov/wiki/ProvDM_ConsensusProposal
>>>
>>> We hope this reflects a consensus with the working group and something
>>> we could proceed on. Is this a good foundation to proceed?
>>>
>>> Thanks
>>> Paul
>>>
>>>
>>> [1] http://www.w3.org/2011/prov/meeting/2012-05-17
>>> [2] http://www.w3.org/2011/prov/wiki/ProvDM_Proposal_for_restructuring
>>>
>>
>
Received on Tuesday, 22 May 2012 06:49:44 GMT

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