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Re: PROV-ISSUE-15 (define-views-or-account): Definition for Concept 'Views or accounts' [Provenance Terminology]

From: Luc Moreau <L.Moreau@ecs.soton.ac.uk>
Date: Tue, 31 May 2011 16:41:43 +0100
Message-ID: <EMEW3|f03aed97d3db78d47b6ed2fa6a6aedefn4UGfl08L.Moreau|ecs.soton.ac.uk|4DE50C37.9060502@ecs.soton.ac.uk>
To: public-prov-wg@w3.org
Hi Simon and Paul,

What's the scope of these identifiers?

Let's say I retrieve provenance of thing1, which includes an account 
identified by account-x.y.z.
Then, I retrieve provenance of thing2, which includes an account 
identified by account-x.y.z

What is the scope of identifier account-x.y.z :
- universal in space and time?
- the server which returned the provenance?
- the provenance container in which the account was declared?
- something else


On 05/31/2011 04:23 PM, Paul Groth wrote:
> Hi Simon,
> I agree with you. I think the key thing is to realize that provenance 
> is asserted by one or more entities (sources?) and thus is an account 
> of the state of the world.
> I don't think we should be forced to identify these identies. However, 
> each account should have an identifier.
> Paul
> Simon Miles wrote:
>> Hi Paul,
>> Thanks for the comments. Answers are interleaved.
>>> I was wondering why an account must be from one source.
>> Just because it seemed most intuitive, but maybe an account could have
>> multiple sources, as long as we are clear what that would mean.
>> If we meant multiple actors may agree with an account and wouldn't
>> describe what occurred any differently from the same perspective, then
>> that's true but there would still be one actor which originally
>> provided the account.
>> If we meant that multiple actors may be "co-authors" of an account,
>> that would be more reasonable. I guess I was considering such a group
>> as a single source, but I agree this may not be the clearest way to
>> define things. Of course, an account can have a its own provenance
>> where it can be specified in detail who contributed what and how.
>>> I think a source maybe an annotation on an account.
>> That's an issue separate from concept definition, surely. "Annotation"
>> applies to some data (a serialised account), and "annotating with a
>> source" requires having an identifier for the source, which my
>> definition of account does not require.
>>> I think a more general definition would be.
>>> - An account is a record of something that has occurred from a
>>> particular perspective.
>> I'm fine with that definition. It still feels like the definition
>> implies rather than makes explicit something significant, i.e. that
>> the account comes from one or a group of sources, but I don't have a
>> strong argument why it needs to be explicit.
>>> I agree with the notion that every description of some occurrence must
>>> be part of an account but I don't think that needs to be identified.
>> Again, I think this goes beyond the concept definition to design
>> decisions, but maybe we can't separate the two. It depends what you
>> mean by "identified" as to whether I agree with you :-).
>> If you mean that there doesn't need to be any metadata about the
>> account(s) each occurrence is referred to in, such as the source of
>> the account, then I agree it may be too much to require.
>> But if you mean that we may not be able to distinguish whether two
>> assertions about what has occurred are from the same source and
>> perspective or not (i.e. same accounts or not), then I'm not convinced
>> - it seems to go against the purpose of providing provenance to aid
>> trust and interpretation to lose such distinctions.
>> Further, if you provide no identifier for an account, then don't you
>> lose (or make much harder) the possibility of providing metadata about
>> it in the future? So, I would argue that all occurrences, assertions,
>> or whatever parts comprise provenance information, should be part of
>> at least one account, and that those accounts should be given
>> identifiers, even if no other information about the account is
>> provided.
>> Thanks,
>> Simon
>>> thoughts?
>>> Paul
>>> Simon Miles wrote:
>>>> Hello,
>>>> My proposed starting definition:
>>>>    - An account is a record of something that has occurred provided by
>>>> one source and taking one perspective in describing what occurred.
>>>> Notes:
>>>>    - I would expect the provenance of a resource (or whatever 
>>>> provenance
>>>> is of) to comprise a set of accounts or parts of accounts, as all the
>>>> information within that provenance has to come from somewhere and take
>>>> some perspective.
>>>>    - The definition does not require that the source be identified -
>>>> whether we require it to be seems a design decision not part of
>>>> concept definition.
>>>>    - The same occurrence (e.g. a "resource" or "process execution")
>>>> could be referred to in multiple accounts. I would expect it to be
>>>> decision of the account sources whether they are referring to the same
>>>> thing in their assertions.
>>>>    - "Perspective" could be rephrased as something more concrete. An
>>>> example of perspective (from OPM) is the granularity of description:
>>>> whether what has occurred is described coarsely or in detail. However,
>>>> there may be other useful distinctions in perspective.
>>>>    - Every occurrence included in some provenance data would be 
>>>> part of
>>>> at least one account (if it had not been documented, it could not be
>>>> included). This may be a distinction from OPM, where I believe
>>>> entities can be included in provenance without being in an account.
>>>> Thanks,
>>>> Simon
>>>> On 20 May 2011 08:38, Provenance Working Group Issue Tracker
>>>> <sysbot+tracker@w3.org>    wrote:
>>>>> PROV-ISSUE-15 (define-views-or-account): Definition for Concept 
>>>>> 'Views or accounts'   [Provenance Terminology]
>>>>> http://www.w3.org/2011/prov/track/issues/15
>>>>> Raised by: Luc Moreau
>>>>> On product: Provenance Terminology
>>>>> The Provenance WG charter identifies the concept 'Views or 
>>>>> accounts' as a core concept of the provenance interchange language 
>>>>> to be standardized (see http://www.w3.org/2011/01/prov-wg-charter).
>>>>> What term do we adopt for the concept 'Views or accounts'?
>>>>> How do we define the concept 'Views or accounts'?
>>>>> Where does concept 'Views or accounts' appear in ProvenanceExample?
>>>>> Which provenance query requires the concept 'Views or accounts'?
>>>>> Wiki page:http://www.w3.org/2011/prov/wiki/ConceptViewsOrAccounts
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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
United Kingdom                     http://www.ecs.soton.ac.uk/~lavm
Received on Tuesday, 31 May 2011 15:42:34 UTC

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