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Provenance Challenge Wiki

Provenance is a critical concept in scientific workflows, since it allows scientists to understand the origin of their results, to repeat their experiments, and to validate the processes that were used to derive data products. During a discussion on provenance standardization at the International Provenance and Annotation Workshop (IPAW'06,, the community decided that it needs to understand the different representations used for provenance, its common aspects, and the reasons for its differences. As a result, the community agreed that a "Provenance Challenge" should be set to compare and understand existing approaches.

  1. The first provenance challenge (details here and teams' results available from here) commenced 2006-June-19 and concluded in a workshop held on 2006-September-13 in Washington, DC. There was a total of 17 teams, contributing a diverse range of results. As part of the discussion at that workshop, it was decided to hold a second challenge, for which the focus would be interoperability between systems.
  2. The second provenance challenge commenced on 2006-December-12 and concluded on 2007-June-26 with a day-long workshop at High Performance Distributed Computing in Monterey, California, where teams presented and discussed the results. Please see the specification of the challenge, the agenda (including teams' presentations) and a summary of the technical points raised in discussion. The result data from all teams are available from the team pages.

    The second provenance challenge resulted in discussions where a consensus about a common data model began to emerge. This consensus, summarised at SecondWorkshopMinutes, has led to a proposed specification of a provenance data model and inference rules, the Open Provenance Model: OPM. A review period of this model is commencing in January 2008, with hope to agree on a data model and evaluate it a Third Provenance Challenge. Comments about the feedback can be found at OpenProvenanceModelReview.

    The OpenProvenanceModelWorkshop took place on Thursday July 19th, just after IPAW, at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City. Minutes of the workshop can be found at FirstOPMWorkshopMinutes. It resulted in a minor revision of the OPM specification.

  3. The third provenance challenge was launched on 2009-March-03 to evaluate the Open Provenance Model practically, from an inter-operability viewpoint. It resulted in a workshop to discuss findings in 2009-June-09, and will complete with a special issue on Using the Open Provenance Model to Address Interoperability Challenges.
  4. The fourth provenance challenge started early 2010, was defined in a scoping workshop colocated with IPAW'2010, and was terminated early, following the successful launch of the W3C Provenance Working Group

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Mailing list archive

An archive is available from

For information, other challenges have been previously set in other areas of computer science.
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