ISSUE-200: Section 6.3 (PROV-DM as on Dec 5)

Section 6.3 (PROV-DM as on Dec 5)

Raised by:
Satya Sahoo
Opened on:
The following are my comments for Section 6.3 of the PROV-DM (as on Dec 5):

Section 6.3
1. Given:

"An information flow ordering record is a representation that an entity was generated by an activity, before it was used by another activity."

How does the constraint:

"Given two activity records denoted by a1 and a2, if the record wasInformedBy(a2,a1) holds, then the following temporal constraint holds: the start event of the activity record denoted by a1 precedes the end event of the activity record denoted by a2."

make sense?

Detailed comment: Let us consider the scenario: "a chemical reagent r1 was generated by activity a1 in September 2011" and "r1 was used by researcher in experiment activity a2 in December 2011". From a provenance perspective, we simply state r1 was generated before it was used - where is the relevance of activity ordering in above scenario (entity was generated before it was used)?
Further, activity ordering is important in provenance from a very different perspective - "analyzing provenance of bank transactions to justify penalty fee for customer c1 - the $100.00 deposit activity da1 took place before or after $80.00 withdrawal activity wa1 happened in account with starting balance of $5.00". So, if da1 happened before wa1 there should not be any penalty fee, otherwise customer has to pay fee for withdrawing more money than was available in the account.

Clearly, the informedBy property does not address the requirement of activity ordering for provenance. In addition, the current definition of informedBy for representing whether entity was generated before it was used does not need activity information - it can be asserted either in terms of event ordering or temporal ordering. I believe we should remove wasInformedBy or move it out of activity ordering section.

2. "The relationship wasInformedBy is not transitive. Indeed, consider the records wasInformedBy(a2,a1) and wasInformedBy(a3,a2), the record wasInformedBy(a3,a1), may not necessarily hold, as illustrated by the following event line."

Comment: It is not clear from the description and the figure, why wasInformedBy is not transitive? It is difficult to interpret the figure without additional description.

3. "Given two activity records identified by a1 and a2, the record wasStartedBy(a2,a1) holds if and only if there exist an entity record identified by e and some attributes gAttr and sAttr, such that wasGeneratedBy(e,a1,gAttr) and wasStartedBy(a2,e,sAttr) hold."

Comment: The above definition and related example for wasStartedBy are not clear at all. What is meant by the statement that "spawn-request" was generated by a1 and "spawn-request" is in a wasStartedBy relation with a2, hence a1 and a2 also have a wasStartedBy relation? Is "spawn-request" supposed to represent control message exchanged between a1 and a2 or something else?


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Related emails:
  1. Re: PROV-ISSUE-200: Section 6.3 (PROV-DM as on Dec 5) [prov-dm] (from on 2012-02-15)
  2. Re: PROV-ISSUE-200: Section 6.3 (PROV-DM as on Dec 5) [prov-dm] (from on 2012-02-14)
  3. Re: PROV-ISSUE-200: Section 6.3 (PROV-DM as on Dec 5) [prov-dm] (from on 2011-12-10)
  4. Re: PROV-ISSUE-200: Section 6.3 (PROV-DM as on Dec 5) [prov-dm] (from on 2011-12-08)
  5. PROV-ISSUE-200: Section 6.3 (PROV-DM as on Dec 5) [prov-dm] (from on 2011-12-07)

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