Re: PROV-ISSUE-447: subactivity relation [prov-dm]

Hi Simon,

My view is that this is opening, potentially, a can of worms, for which
there is not enough experience to define a standard solution.

No doubt this is useful, but there is no widespread solution, in the 
provenance community,
we can readily leverage and integrate in PROV.

- are there ordering constraints for this relation?
- are there inferences?
      e.g. wasAssociatedWith(a,ag,-) wasSubactivityof(a,b) =>? 
- simultaneous generation of an entity by two activities, does this 
imply one is subactivity of the other?
- if activities can be related with a subactivity relation, what's the 
connection about entities generated/used
   by these and specialization?

My recollection is that we said this was out of scope because the 
business processes community
defines such a kind of relation. No need to duplicate efforts.

Stian, Khalid, what's happening in the workflow community on that front?

Potential issues to consider (lots of other references available):


On 04/09/12 15:45, Miles, Simon wrote:
> Hello Luc,
> I'd support option 1. I think it has relevance to provenance, in that if you say A wasSubactivityOf B, then any information about the provenance of A is part of the provenance of B.
> I can't recall why we said it was out of scope before. I think the term "wasSubtaskOf" may imply the wrong thing, i.e. that the statement is about what was planned rather than (or as well as) what occurred, and other vocabularies must already cover this non-provenance assertion.
> thanks,
> Simon
> Dr Simon Miles
> Senior Lecturer, Department of Informatics
> Kings College London, WC2R 2LS, UK
> +44 (0)20 7848 1166
> Provenance: The bridge between experiments and data:
> ________________________________________
> From: Luc Moreau []
> Sent: 04 September 2012 14:57
> To:
> Subject: Re: PROV-ISSUE-447: subactivity relation [prov-dm]
> Dear all,
> I would like to kickstart discussion on this public comment.
> This has already been asked on several occasions, and this has previously
> been raised on the mailing list.
> I essentially see two options:
> 1. We change the model and add a sub-activity relation.
> 2. We don't change the model, but we come with a good justification for not
>       changing it.  In particular, we previously said this was out of
> scope. Perhaps,
>       we could point to some vocabularies already doing this.
> What are your views?
> Regards,
> Luc
> On 06/07/12 18:12, Provenance Working Group Issue Tracker wrote:
>> PROV-ISSUE-447: subactivity relation [prov-dm]
>> Raised by: Timothy Lebo
>> On product: prov-dm
>> There is a thread discussing the issue raised by Sutra at
>> The original email:
>> On Fri, Jul 6, 2012 at 2:45 PM, Satrajit Ghosh <> wrote:
>> hello,
>> i was discussing this with luc and based on his feedback thought it might be
>> useful to bring this up on the list.
>> ----
>> question:
>> how do you encode that a certain activity "emailing a letter" happened
>> during another activity "a meeting"?
>> for example we conduct research studies/projects.
>> activity(p1, [prov:type='ex:Project'])
>> activity(p2, [prov:type='ex:MRIScanning', ex:session=1])
>> activity(p3, [prov:type='ex:MRIScanning', ex:session=2])
>> how would i encode that this activity p2 and p3 were conducted during p1?
>> how would i encode p3 followed p2?
>> luc's response:
>> Regarding your question, there may be a few options:
>> you could add time information to your activities. This will help you
>> understand their ordering.
>> Alternatively, if you want an explicit dependency in your graph, then p2 may
>> generate something
>> that starts p3, and/or is consumed by p3
>> Finally, prov doesn't have relations between activities, to express their
>> nesting, etc. It's important
>> but we felt this is not specific to provenance, but to process executions.
>> ----
>> it's the last point on this response that i was not completely sure about.
>> why "relations between activities" is "not specific to provenance, but to
>> process executions."
>> in the above example, one could say:
>> wasSubtaskOf(p2, p1)
>> wasSubtaskOf(p3, p1)
>> wasFollowedBy(p2, p3)
>> any clarification as to why such relations would be outside the realm of
>> provenance would be much appreciated.
>> cheers,
>> satra
> --
> Professor Luc Moreau
> Electronics and Computer Science   tel:   +44 23 8059 4487
> University of Southampton          fax:   +44 23 8059 2865
> Southampton SO17 1BJ               email:
> United Kingdom           

Professor Luc Moreau
Electronics and Computer Science   tel:   +44 23 8059 4487
University of Southampton          fax:   +44 23 8059 2865
Southampton SO17 1BJ               email:
United Kingdom           

Received on Tuesday, 4 September 2012 15:14:49 UTC