Re: release of prov-dm, prov-dm-constraints, and prov-n for review

Dear Luc and Paolo,

The latest draft reads well. It's easy to understand and not scary to 
read at all. Great job! And I am no longer getting confused as when I 
read the draft in January:) So I would strongly support it as a next 
public working draft.

Below you find my feedback to the review questions and some minor notes 




- Can the document be released as a next public working draft? If no, 
what are the blocking issues?

yes, it can. I see no obvious blockers.

- Is the structure of the document approved?

- Can the short name of the document be confirmed (in particular, for 
prov-n, prov-dm-constraints, since request needs to be sent for 

Yes, the names work for me.

- If a reviewer raised some issues (closed pending review), can they 
be closed?	
N/A. I see no open issues from my regarding DM.

- Can all concept definitions be confirmed? Specifically,
consider ISSUE-337 on agents
consider ISSUE-223 on entities

The new definitions work for me.

Additional minor comments

Status of Documents
1. Developers seeking to retrieve or publish provenance should focus of 

of -> on

1.1. Structure of this document

2. Section 6 introduces the idea that constraints can be applied to the 
PROV data model to refine provenance descriptions; these are covered in 
the companion specification [PROV-DM-CONSTRAINTS].

-> there are *further* covered in ...?

2.2 Generation, Usage, Derivation

1. At the beginning of section 2.2., we have the sentence:Activities and 
entities are associated with each other in two different ways: 
activities are consumers of entities and activities are producers of 

would it be better to say:

... in two different ways: activities can be consumers of entities or 

2.3 Agents and other types of entities

1. There exist no prescriptive requirement -> There exist no 
prescriptive requirement*s*

2. In section 2.3, maybe the sub-types of Agents could also be given in 
bold, italic font when they were introduced at the first time, like what 
you did with other concepts?

2.4 Attribution, Association, and Responsibility

Reading section 2.4, I felt the word "Responsibility" is becoming a bit 

At the beginning of section 2.3. it says: The motivation for introducing 
agents in the model is to denote the agent's "responsibility" for 
activities. But then in the last part of this section, responsibility is 
used to refer to a relationship between an agent and a subordinate agent.

I don't how to fix this and I don't know how important this is. But I 
didn't know that wasInformedBy actually reflects a kind of 
responsibility until I read this section and related sections in the 
rest of the document.

2.5 Simplified Overview Diagram

In section 2.5, the sentence above the table says: We note that names of 
relations have a verbal form in the past tense to express what happened 
in the past, as opposed to what may or will happen.

But not all the definitions of the DM concepts expressed a description 
of a past event, such as the definition of the activity or agent. Is 
this on purpose?

Furthermore, descriptions about the examples given in section 3 were not 
expressed in past tense either, where they could have been.

I feel fixing this and making it consistent might be a good example to 
the readers, emphasizing provenance as descriptions of a past event.

3.3. Attribution of Provenance
Attribution of Provenance -> Attribution to Provenance?

IMO, they mean different things, and I felt you meant the latter.

4.1.3 Generation
In section 4.1.3. it says that the activity in a generation is optional 
and the last example shows how to express the time of a generation 
without naming the activity. I wonder how this is supported in Prov-o.

4.3.1 Derivation

What does "modality" mean? (... added to describe modalities of derivation)

4.5 Component 5: Collections

In the first paragraph, it says the collection component can express 
"which member it contains at which point in time....". I am not sure 
this is clearly explained or illustrated so far in the document. None of 
the derivation by insertion or by deletion is associated with any time 
information; and none of the examples in this section include any time 
information with the collection. I think this time information is quite 
indirectly available rather than directly supported by the collection 

4.5.4 Membership

For the property memberOf, I was expecting to find it defined as 
elements entities being member of a collections, such as memberOf(id, 
{(key_1, e_1), ..., (key_n, e_n)}, c, attrcs). This seems to be a 
consistent pattern used for all the properties in DM, but I didn't do a 
thorough check.

The example given in this section used the following assertion:

c  contains   ("k1", e1), ("k2", e2)

But "contains" is not something defined in the DM. If it is merely a 
description, then it might be expressed using a different font rather 
then typeset?

In the last paragraph of this section, it mentioned the immutability of 
entities. And reading the specification of collections, I understand 
this is the pillar of this component. However, if I understand right, 
the immutable nature of entities is not something emphasized in the 
first part of DM. I wonder whether this might create any confusion for 
readers. I don't have a good suggestion to this, but this section does 
read as specifying stronger semantics than many of the rest sections.

4.6 Component 6: Annotations

Did I miss something? The relationship between Note, Annotation and 
Entities seems to be the only relationship that is not specified in the 
components sections. Is this on purpose?

4.7.4 Attribute
1. A brief discussion about the difference between prov:label and 
prov:note? Is it a special type of Note?

6. Towards a Refinement of the PROV Data Model

Can we have a brief explaination of "partial state"?

I don't quite understand this sentence: "The notion of account is 
specified in the companion specification [PROV-DM-CONSTRAINTS], as well 
as constraint that structurally well-formed descriptions are expected to 
satisfy." What does it trying to say?

"blundling up" -> bundling up?

On 02/04/2012 22:25, Luc Moreau wrote:
> Dear all
> As agreed, we are releasing three documents for review today.
> Objectives of the review and reviewers were listed in last week's
> teleconference agenda:
> The documents are the following:
> *PROV-DM:*
> issues to be raised against
> issues to be raised against
> *PROV-N:*
> issues to be raised against
> Everybody is of course welcome to provide comments on these documents.
> Best regards,
> Luc

Received on Monday, 9 April 2012 08:01:07 UTC