Re: PROV-ISSUE-1 (define-resource): Definition for concept 'Resource' [Provenance Terminology]


The recent discussion of resource reminds me very strongly of some  
work I did with some digital libraries people at Cornell (10 years ago  

The basic idea was to try to give a formal framework for what it means  
to "preserve" an information object.  Some aspects of the framework  
are not relevant here; the relevant thing is the idea of treating an  
identified object as a sequence of states, linked by transitions that  
say what operations have been performed on the object.

In terms of this discussion, I'd make the following associations:

resource = "complete history" of identified object over time (e.g. an  
alternating sequence of representations and actions).  Not necessarily  
something we can observe directly...

resource state = the instantaneous value of an identified object

resource state representation = an artifact that concretely realizes a  
resource state as e.g. a byte string, which might include e.g.  
presentation details that don't contribute to the state.

Then we can think of provenance as a representation (possibly lossy)  
of some segment of the true history, or more generally a DAG showing  
the interdependencies among some related resources.

The TR version of the paper also discussed how to associate metadata  
showing how the information of an object can be obtained by combining  
multiple components (e.g. browsers, format conversions, etc.)  In  
retrospect, this looks a lot like provenance, though we didn't call it  
that; our goal was just to define what it means to say that we've  
"preserved" some information, even though the original representation  
of the data might be lost.

The model is abstract, and was written with no knowledge of the AWWW,  
so I don't necessarily think it is a good starting point for informal  
definitions of the concepts, but ultimately I would like to develop  
something like it that handles provenance and the other concepts we  
are dealing with.  So it might be interesting reading.


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Received on Wednesday, 25 May 2011 10:40:19 UTC