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RE: PROV-ISSUE-520: Data Model Section 5.3.1 [prov-dm]

From: Freimuth, Robert, Ph.D. <Freimuth.Robert@mayo.edu>
Date: Wed, 3 Oct 2012 18:53:39 +0000
To: "public-prov-wg@w3.org" <public-prov-wg@w3.org>
Message-ID: <76A706C559A90249BA321EE35470B85701E227@MSGPEXCEI12A.mfad.mfroot.org>

I understand the distinction PROV makes between entities and agents, regarding responsibility.  However, I am concerned (confused?) that this might make it difficult to implement consistently, which will ultimately hinder interoperability.

For example, let's say I define a person as an entity (because that person bears no responsibility in the provenance assertions I publish) but a colleague defines the same person as an agent.  If I wanted to query my provenance system for the person in question, will I have to perform two separate queries to find instances of the person as both an entity and as an agent?


From: public-prov-wg-request@listhub.w3.org [mailto:public-prov-wg-request@listhub.w3.org] On Behalf Of Luc Moreau
Sent: Tuesday, September 25, 2012 4:34 AM
To: public-prov-wg@w3.org
Subject: Re: PROV-ISSUE-520: Data Model Section 5.3.1 [prov-dm]

Hi all,

I have drafted a response to this issue on the wiki at:
I copy the text below for your convience.

Feedback, suggestions welcome.

ISSUE-520 (Person/Organization/SoftwareAgent)

  *   Original email: http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-prov-wg/2012Sep/0110.html
  *   Tracker: http://www.w3.org/2011/prov/track/issues/520
  *   Group Response:
     *   The reason why the WG introduced agents in the PROV model is to be able to assign responsibility for an activity taking place, for the existence of an entity, or for another agent's activity.
     *   For inter-operability reason, the WG also believed it is useful to define commonly encountered types of agents: Person, SoftwareAgent, and Organization. Agents of type prov:Person are people responsible for something; agents of type prov:SoftwareAgent are running software responsible for something; etc
     *   Given this, it is not appropriate to make Person/SoftwareAgent/Organization subtypes of Entity, since entities by default do not bear responsibility in the PROV model. It is the notion of prov:Agent that carries responsibility, in PROV.
     *   If one wishes to introduce a type of person, as an entity, without associating any responsibility, then there are ontologies, outside PROV, which allow for that. FOAF concepts such as foaf:Person, foaf:Organization may be relevant. With these, one can write entity(e, [prov:type='foaf:Person'])
  *   References:
     *   foaf:Person: http://xmlns.com/foaf/spec/#term_Person
     *   foaf:Organization: http://xmlns.com/foaf/spec/#term_Organization
  *   References:
  *   Proposed changes: none
  *   Original author's acknowledgement:

On 10/09/2012 09:47, Provenance Working Group Issue Tracker wrote:

PROV-ISSUE-520: Data Model Section 5.3.1   [prov-dm]


Raised by: Luc Moreau
On product: prov-dm



Given their definitions, Entities (or Activities) act as Agents for Activities. Since Person, Software, and Organization all fit the definition of Entity, I believe they should be specializations of Entity rather than Agent, which is a role that Entities can play in a given context.

Professor Luc Moreau
Electronics and Computer Science   tel:   +44 23 8059 4487
University of Southampton          fax:   +44 23 8059 2865
Southampton SO17 1BJ               email: l.moreau@ecs.soton.ac.uk<mailto:l.moreau@ecs.soton.ac.uk>
United Kingdom                     http://www.ecs.soton.ac.uk/~lavm
Received on Wednesday, 3 October 2012 18:54:03 UTC

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