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  • I think we should note that a process execution is an entity state itself, i.e. it has invariant properties for which can be part of provenance (SMiles)
  • Can one entity state be generated by more than one process execution? (Luc)

Entity and IVP of

(SMiles, 2011 July 12)

Following my email points about models and their usage, I propose the following simplified definitions of entity and IVP of.

Definition: An entity is anything with an identity.

Usage: Importantly for provenance purposes, assertions about an entity should concern what is invariant about that entity, i.e. true as long as the entity retains its identity. Otherwise, it will be ambiguous what was true when the entity was generated, used in a process execution, etc.

Definition: Entity B is an invariant view of entity A only if everything invariant about A is also invariant about B and something more is invariant about B.

Usage: This relation would commonly be used to relate an entity (A) to that same entity in a particular context or to a more concrete specification of that entity (B). In both cases, something invariant is added, i.e. the particular context or the specification.

Derivation, use, generation etc. would then be defined in terms of entities, not entity states.

Process Execution

Some questions regarding the (current) process execution definition:

  1. Is the process execution an assertion of a BOB, a derivation of a BOB, or something else? If the type of a process execution is irrelevant, how can one know if the output of BOB was or not related to some information transformation processing or if the outcome is the output of a straight look up process? If it is a derivation, how can one know which information transformation occurred?
  2. What is an activity? What is a piece of work? (Paulo)
  3. The term generates implies creating something. Can the process be a retrieval of BOB? If this is the case, would it be the generated BOB a new BOB or an existing BOB? (Paulo)
  4. What is the relevance for provenance of a process that does not outcome any BOB? (Paulo)


If the new BOB generated by a process execution is the outcome of a lookup process, what is the generation time of the BOB? The it the end time of the lookup process or the generation time of the BOB that was used by the process execution? For the second option, how can a system systematically supports a generation time propagation through the use of uses and generations relations? (Paulo)


  1. replace "use" with "involves" (tlebo)
    1. this would subsume use, consume, exploits, influences, etc.


  1. multiple process executions creating a single entitystate.


  1. (a proposal by Paulo) Agent can assert things including actions
    1. Agents can make assertions about entities including other agents (an agent is an entity)
      1. Agents can make derivations from other assertions
      2. Agents can invoke (control) processes