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This page is a proposal for restructuring the current content of the Collections sections that appears in the PROV-O document.

Main motivation: The description of Collections in PROV-O takes up a disproportionate amount of space relative to other constructs, and at the same time it is perceived as not as central as those.


  1. Leave the current Collections material in PROV-DM, PROV-N, and PROV-CONSTRAINTS as is.
  2. Create a new document (PROV-O_C or better name TBD) with the following structure, which is detailed below:

Purpose of this Document and target audience

This introduces the concept of abstract collections and of Dictionaries with the help of references to Collections in PROV-DM.

It also positions the document for use by those interested in RDF encoding of Dictionaries.

Dictionary Example

This section motivates Dictionaries using the following (or equivalent, TBD) example:

An applications needs to keep track of the content of a warehouse, in which items are stored in uniquely identified slots on shelves. The warehouse content is a Dictionary, which maps shelf locations to items, which are Entities. Items are routinely added and removed from the shelves.

  • At any point in time, the current collection reflects the state of the warehouse.
  • An item entering the warehouse results in a new insertion into the current collection.
  • An item being removed from the shelf results in a removal from the current collection.
  • The collection is normally initialised to empty, but it may instead contain an initial set of items.

PROV-O encoding

Collection terms

This section contains the current content of PROV-O sec. 3.4

Terms cross-reference to other PROV-O terms

This is the content of current PROV-O sec 4.4