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PROV Graph Layout Conventions

It is recommended to adopt the following conventions to display PROV graphs.

The illustration is not intended to represent all the details of the model, but it is intended to show the essence of a set of provenance descriptions. Therefore, it should not be seen as an alternate notation for expressing provenance.

PROV diagramming style materials available at http://dvcs.w3.org/hg/prov/file/tip/diagrams/style

Coloring and shape

Entities, activities and agents are represented as nodes, with oval, rectangular, and octagonal shapes, respectively. Usage, Generation, Derivation, and Activity Association are represented as directed edges.

Note that more saturated fill colors make it more difficult to read the text within the node.


  • Entities are yellow ovals
    • Fill:
      • Saturated: (255, 252, 135) or #FFFC87 or (1, 0.98823529411, 0.5294117647)
      • Desaturated: (255, 253, 229)
    • Stroke: medium gray (128, 128, 128) or #808080
  • Activities are blue rectangles
    • Fill:
      • Saturated: (159, 177, 252) or #9FB1FC
      • Desaturated: (216, 217, 254)
    • Stroke: blue (0, 0, 255)
  • Agents are orange "pentagon houses" (alternatively, upward isosceles triangles)
    • Fill:
      • Super-Saturated: (253, 178, 102) #FDB266
      • Saturated: (254, 211, 127) or #FED37F
      • Desaturated: (253, 238, 205)
    • Stroke: black (0, 0, 0)


Entities are laid out according to the ordering of their generation. We endeavor to show time progressing from left to right. This means that edges for Usage, Generation, Derivation, Association typically point leftwards. Arrows point "back into the past".

Alternatively, time going downward if it's more convenient.

Arrangement-down.svg Arrangement-right.svg