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Re: gap analysis (input regarding PML)

From: Paul Groth <pgroth@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 05 Aug 2010 21:08:51 +0200
Message-ID: <4C5B0C43.4080208@gmail.com>
To: Paulo Pinheiro da Silva <paulo@utep.edu>
CC: Luc Moreau <L.Moreau@ecs.soton.ac.uk>, "public-xg-prov@w3.org" <public-xg-prov@w3.org>, Jitin Arora <jarora@miners.utep.edu>, Tim Lebo <lebot@rpi.edu>, "Deborah L. McGuinness" <dlm@cs.rpi.edu>
Hi Paulo,

Thanks for the message. I think the important thing here is the word 
"common" in what I wrote. By way of illustration...

As part of the  EU Provenance Project [1], we also designed and 
implemented an Architecture for Provenance Systems [2, 3]. This 
architecture included a data model, the p-structure [4] that allowed for 
the distributed linking and storage of provenance. It specified 
protocols for querying provenance information [5,6] and recording it as 
well. This was designed to work in a scalable setting [7].

Obviously, I could go into more detail, this little description is just 
to point out that I _agree_ with you that there are solutions for many 
of these problems. However, these solutions are _not_ common and widely 
deployed. Where widely deployed = things like trackbacks, html, and 
probably dublin core and RDFa. The point is that while solutions exist 
within the research  community (and some in business), they are by no 
means common or standard.

This is exactly why, personally, I think the W3C should have a standards 
committee devoted to provenance. There are enough commonalities between 
provenance technologies that having a standard would help push adoption 
of provenance on the Web. Furthermore, without a standard it makes it 
difficult to implement effectively something like the News Aggregator 
Scenario over the whole of the web.


[1] http://www.gridprovenance.org
[2] http://eprints.ecs.soton.ac.uk/13216/
[3] Moreau, Luc and Groth, Paul and Miles, Simon and Vazquez, Javier and 
Jiang, Sheng and Munroe, Steve and Rana, Omer and Schreiber, Andreas and 
Tan, Victor and Varga, Laszlo (2007) The Provenance of Electronic Data. 
Communications of the ACM, 51 (4). pp. 52-58.
[4] Paul Groth, Simon Miles, and Luc Moreau. A Model of Process 
Documentation to Determine Provenance in Mash-ups. Transactions on 
Internet Technology (TOIT), 9(1):1-31, 2009.
[5] Simon Miles, Paul Groth, Steve Munroe, Sheng Jiang , Thibaut 
Assandri, and Luc Moreau. Extracting Causal Graphs from an Open 
Provenance Data Model. Concurrency and Computation: Practice and 
Experience, 2007.
[6] Miles, Simon (2006) Electronically Querying for the Provenance of 
Entities. In: Proceedings of the International Provenance and Annotation 
Workshop, May 2006, Chicago, USA.
[7] Groth, Paul and Miles, Simon and Fang, Weijian and Wong, Sylvia C. 
and Moreau, Luc (2005) Recording and Using Provenance in a Protein 
Compressibility Experiment. In: Proceedings of the 14th IEEE 
International Symposium on High Performance Distributed Computing (HPDC 
2005). Item not available online.

Paulo Pinheiro da Silva wrote:
> Paul-- Thank you very much for your message.
> All-- I agree with Paulís statement that there is not well-establish 
> guidelines for using/adopting provenance solutions and this is a part 
> of his message that I would like to see further discussion.
> I like Lucís suggestion of discussing these gaps in terms of queries. 
> For instance, if you go to
>     http://trust.utep.edu/sparql-pml/query/example
> you will see a large collection of sparql-pml queries answering many 
> of the questions that require bridging the gaps identified in Paulís 
> message. Please note that the queries in the URL above are standard 
> SPARQL queries based on the use of PML vocabulary. The results used in 
> the URL come from a repository of PML provenance knowledge in the 
> domains of earth science (using actual NSF Earthscope and IRIS data in 
> support of seismology and USGS data in support of earth magnetism), 
> astronomy (using actual NCAR data in support of space weather), and 
> logical proofs in support of TPTP.  Anyone can actually go to 
> http://trust.utep.edu/sparql-pml/query/index and write your own 
> queries or use the basic or advanced use interface 
> (http://trust.utep.edu/sparql-pml/search/index). [the SPARQL-PML 
> queries have been developed by Jitin Arora 
> (http://trust.utep.edu/~jarora/)]
> I would like to emphasize two aspects of PML that may need to be 
> highlighted so that the group can further appreciate our work and 
> understand how PML bridges the technical gaps in Paulís message:
>       1) PML is a collection of three ontologies: PML-Provenance (or 
> PML-P), PML-Justification (PML-J)  and PML-Trust (PML-T). In this 
> case, most of the provenance concepts in OPM map into concepts 
> described in PML-J ontology. This means that most of the elements in 
> PML-P are concepts not covered in OPM. I will go further and say that 
> many of these concepts have the role of tying artifacts to sources as 
> identified in Paulís message;
>       2) If you revisit our publications, for instance [1], you will 
> see that PML is just a component (the language component) of a bigger 
> infrastructure called Inference Web
> http://inference-web.org
> In fact, most of the concerns highlighted by Luc in his message about 
> having a well-defined API, services and other infrastructural features 
> in support of provenance are exactly the kinds of things that one 
> should be able to see in the Inference Web.
> With (1) and (2) in mind, I would like to stress one point: most of 
> the provenance infrastructure mentioned in (2) is in support of PML-P. 
> In fact, PML-P is the part of the provenance that gets reused across 
> multiple justification traces and as such needs to be discovered, 
> aligned, augmented, etc.  Further, one of our major mistakes was to 
> put a lot of effort trying to come up with a registration mechanism 
> for PML-P documents called IW-Base [2]. Later on, after a meeting with 
> Tim Berners-Lee and his W3C team, we learned that we would need to 
> distribute this approach, reason why we developed an Inference Web 
> search mechanism for provenance called IWSearch [3].  Again, anyone 
> can try IWSearch at http://onto.rpi.edu/iwsearch/
> I would like to say that PML and Inference Web were developed from day 
> 1 to support "linking provenance between sites (i.e. trackback but for 
> the whole web).: That is the reason why PML has always had the 
> following properties:
> a) PML identifiers are URIs
> b) PML content is in RDF/OWL (used to be in DAML+OIL before OWL)
> c) PML justifications are combinable/decomposable [4]
> d) RDF/OWL links are used to connect PML documents
> Another point that I would like to make is that the PML-P part of PML 
> is the one where we connect to many other well-known pieces of 
> information that we have discussed in this group. For instance, when 
> it comes to publications, PML-P defines a publication as a kind of 
> information source and is where we connect PML to Dublin Core 
> attributes for publications.
> As you see, I have reasons to be uncomfortable with statements that 
> there is no language ďfor expressing provenance information that 
> captures processes as well as the other content dimensionsĒ or "API 
> for obtaining/querying provenance information" or " for linking 
> provenance between sites (i.e. trackback but for the whole web)".
> Regarding this month of August, I am unfortunately unable to attend 
> the meeting this week and next week (will be flying during the time of 
> the meetings). Also, I believe Deborah will not attend as well due to 
> personal reasons. Thus, I am asking Tim Lebo from RPI to represent us 
> and to collect any request you may have from PML so that we can 
> address them later in case Tim cannot answer your questions right away.
> Many thanks,
> Paulo.
> [the publications below are part of the provenance collection in 
> Mendeley]
> [1] Deborah L. McGuinness and Paulo Pinheiro da Silva. Explaining 
> Answers from the Semantic Web: The Inference Web Approach. Journal of 
> Web Semantics, Vol. 1 No. 4. October 2004, pages 397-413.
> [2] Deborah L. McGuinness, Paulo Pinheiro da Silva, Cynthia Chang. 
> IWBase: Provenance Metadata Infrastructure for Explaining and Trusting 
> Answers from the Web. Technical Report KSL-04-07, Knowledge Systems 
> Laboratory, Stanford University, USA, 2004.
> [3] Paulo Pinheiro da Silva, Geoff Sutcliffe, Cynthia Chang, Li Ding, 
> Nick del Rio and Deborah McGuinness. Presenting TSTP Proofs with 
> Inference Web Tools. In Proceedings of IJCAR '08 Workshop on Practical 
> Aspects of Automated Reasoning (PAAR-2008), August 2008, Sydney, 
> Australia.
> [4] Paulo Pinheiro da Silva and Deborah L. McGuinness. Combinable 
> Proof Fragments for the Web. Technical Report KSL-03-04, Knowledge 
> Systems Laboratory, Stanford University, USA, 2003.
> ([3] is not a paper specifically about IWSearch although  it briefly 
> describes the tool)
>> Thanks Paul for this proposal for the gap analysis.
>> Twice you mention 'exposing' and i thought we could introduce 'querying'
>> provenance too.
>> Also, maybe the gaps could be structured in content vs apis.
>> Like this, maybe.
>> Content:
>> - No common standard for expressing provenance information that captures
>> processes as well as the other content dimensions.
>> - No guidance for how existing standards can be put together to provide
>> provenance (e.g. linking to identity).
>> APIs (or protocols):
>> - No common API for obtaining/querying provenance information
>> - No guidance for how application developers should go about exposing
>> provenance in their web systems.
>> - No well-defined standard for linking provenance between sites (i.e.
>> trackback but for the whole web).
>> I also wondered whether they should be structured according to the
>> provenance dimensions (so instead of API, break
>> this into Use/Management).
>> Luc
>> On 08/02/2010 12:04 PM, Paul Groth wrote:
>>> Hi All,
>>> As discussed at last week's telecon, I came up with some ideas about
>>> the gaps necessary to realize the News Aggregator Scenario. I've put
>>> these in the wiki and I append them below to help start the
>>> discussion. Let me know what you think.
>>> Gap Analysis- News Aggregator
>>> For each step within the News Aggregator scenario, there are existing
>>> technologies or relevant research that could solve that step. For
>>> example, once can properly insert licensing information into a photo
>>> using a creative commons license and the Extensible Metadata Platform.
>>> One can track the origin of tweets either through retweets or using
>>> some extraction technologies within twitter. However, the problem is
>>> that across multiple sites there is no common format and api to access
>>> and understand provenance information whether it is explicitly or
>>> implicitly determined. To inquire about retweets or inquire about
>>> trackbacks one needs to use different apis and understand different
>>> formats. Furthermore, there is no (widely deployed) mechanism to point
>>> to provenance information on another site. For example, once a tweet
>>> is traced to the end of twitter there is no way to follow where that
>>> tweet came from.
>>> Systems largely do not document the software by which changes were
>>> made to data and what those pieces of software did to data. However,
>>> there are existing technologies that allow this to be done. For
>>> example, in a domain specific setting, XMP allows the transformations
>>> of images to be documented. More general formats such as OPM, and PML
>>> allow this to be expressed but are not currently widely deployed.
>>> Finally, while many sites provide for identity and their are several
>>> widely deployed standards for identity (OpenId), there are no existing
>>> mechanisms for tying identity to objects or provenance traces. This
>>> directly ties to the attribution of objects and provenance.
>>> Summing up there are 4 existing gaps to realizing the News Aggregator
>>> scenario:
>>> - No common standard to target for exposing and expressing provenance
>>> information that captures processes as well as the other content
>>> dimensions.
>>> - No well-defined standard for linking provenance between sites (i.e.
>>> trackback but for the whole web).
>>> - No guidance for how exisiting standards can be put together to
>>> provide provenance (e.g. linking to identity).
>>> - No guidance for how application developers should go about exposing
>>> provenance in there web systems. 
Received on Thursday, 5 August 2010 19:09:41 UTC

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