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Re: Liaison to W3C Provenance Working Group

From: Richard Cyganiak <richard@cyganiak.de>
Date: Tue, 4 Oct 2011 15:02:09 +0100
Cc: Guus Schreiber <guus.schreiber@vu.nl>, Eric Stephan <ericphb@gmail.com>, public-rdf-prov@w3.org, public-prov-wg@w3.org
Message-Id: <88DD6195-C4CC-4C35-8EA2-596329D355D9@cyganiak.de>
To: Kai Eckert <kai@informatik.uni-mannheim.de>
Hi Kai,

On 27 Sep 2011, at 10:41, Kai Eckert wrote:
> As you already said you would function as such a bridge person, if noone else volunteers, it would be great if you could do it and write a short description of the RDF WG, its goals, especially if they are in the context of provenance.

I have discussed this with the RDF-WG chairs, and gladly agree to act as a bridge person between Prov-WG and RDF-WG.

A description of RDF-WG and its provenance-related activities, goals and materials is attached below. Feel free to use this for the Prov-WG report as you see fit.

All the best,


RDF Working Group

One of the work items on the RDF WG's charter [1] is to “Standardize a model and semantics for multiple graphs and graphs stores”. This is expected to unify approaches such as “named graphs”, “quoted graphs”, “graph literals”, “quads” and so on.

These features are widely used in RDF deployments to model the provenance of information recorded in RDF. Indeed, the working group's collection of use cases for this “multigraphs support” identifies several provenance-related use cases [2]. The ability to address provenance-related use cases will be an important benchmark in evaluating proposals for this work item.

At the time of writing, a straw-man proposal, directly based on the notion of “RDF datasets” in SPARQL, is included in the Editor's Draft of the updated RDF Concepts document [3]. Being an Editor's Draft, it is a work in progress and does not have consensus within the WG. The section also contains links into the RDF-WG issue tracker where relevant mailing list discussion is archived.

The interest of the working group is limited to provenance of RDF data. Given the positioning of RDF as a web technology, the main focus is on provenance of RDF data on the web, but this is not exclusive as RDF is also used “behind the firewall” in enterprise information integration, knowledge representation and other scenarios.

Relevant output of the working group is likely to include an extension of the RDF data model to support multiple RDF graphs, with an account of the formal semantics of the extension. To actually address provenance use cases, most likely additional RDF vocabulary will be required. The RDF WG is unlikely to standardize such vocabularies, as no new vocabularies are listed in its chartered deliverables, although addition of new terms to RDF Schema [4] would not be impossible given the charter. The RDF WG is more likely to defer the creation of such vocabulary to other or future working groups, most of all the W3C Provenance Working Group [5], but also the Government Linked Data WG [6] which has work items on describing best practices for versioning, and on recommending/blessing (or standardizing) a metadata vocabulary suitable for provenance.

It is likely that the working group will also standardize a related syntax for multiple graphs, which may end up being similar to existing proposals such as TriG [7], Notation 3 [8] or N-Quads [9]. Other syntaxes may be retrofitted with multigraph support.

[1] http://www.w3.org/2011/01/rdf-wg-charter
[2] http://www.w3.org/2011/rdf-wg/wiki/TF-Graphs-UC#Provenance_Use_Cases
[3] http://dvcs.w3.org/hg/rdf/raw-file/default/rdf-concepts/index.html#section-multigraph
[3] http://www.w3.org/TR/rdf-schema/
[4] http://www.w3.org/2011/prov/
[5] http://www.w3.org/2011/gld/charter#deliverables
[6] http://www4.wiwiss.fu-berlin.de/bizer/trig/
[7] http://www.w3.org/TeamSubmission/n3/
[8] http://sw.deri.org/2008/07/n-quads/

> You can just send that to me and I will include it in the report. There is already a small description in the wiki that you can simply extend, if you like.
> Cheers,
> Kai
> [1] http://www.w3.org/2011/prov/wiki/Connection_Task_Force_Informal_Report#RDF_Working_Group_.28.2A.2A.29
> Am 13.09.2011 05:18, schrieb Richard Cyganiak:
>> Hi Kai,
>> I was in Mannheim last week, visiting GESIS – too bad we missed the opportunity for a chat!
>> In principle I'd be willing to take up this role. I'm interested in provenance issues and have already read the Provenance WG use cases to inform my work in the RDF WG, although nothing tangible has come out of this yet on my side.
>> However… I believe there's a joint telecon between the RDF and Provenance WGs this Thursday. I unfortunately can't join the call as I'm travelling, but I think it might make sense to wait for the outcome of this call. If someone else from RDF WG volunteers to serve as liaison then I'd happily defer to them.
>> Best,
>> Richard
>> On 12 Sep 2011, at 15:20, Kai Eckert wrote:
>>> Hi Richard,
>>> as you are a member of the RDF WG and hopefully interested in provenance due to your work on Named Graphs and TriG with Chris, would you be willing to act as a bridge person between the RDF WG and the Provenance WG? Or can you name someone else who would be suitable?
>>> The Prov-WG [1] is creating recommendations to facilitate the exchange of provenance information between applications. I am a member of the connection task force [2] that collects information on communities that have some overlap with this work and might contribute to the recommendations or that should be taken into account in some other way.
>>> Your main duty would be to give us a short description of the RDF WG with focus on provenance (or to proofread a description that we create) and function as a contact for further questions. Of course, any further contributions are highly appreciated, as well. :-)
>>> Cheers,
>>> Kai
>>> [1] http://www.w3.org/2011/01/prov-wg-charter
>>> [2] http://www.w3.org/2011/prov/wiki/ProvenanceTaskForces
>>> --
>>> Kai Eckert
>>> Universitätsbibliothek Mannheim
>>> Stellv. Leiter Abteilung Digitale Bibliotheksdienste
>>> Schloss Schneckhof West / 68131 Mannheim
>>> Tel. 0621/181-2946  Fax 0621/181-2918
> -- 
> Kai Eckert
> Universitätsbibliothek Mannheim
> Stellv. Leiter Abteilung Digitale Bibliotheksdienste
> Schloss Schneckhof West / 68131 Mannheim
> Tel. 0621/181-2946  Fax 0621/181-2918
Received on Tuesday, 4 October 2011 14:02:46 GMT

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