Back in January, the Provenance Working Group released a series of draft specifications: the PROV family of specs. Since then, we’ve been working hard to simplify, organize and improve those specifications to enable the interchange of provenance information on the Web. The group is happy to release a complete set of specifications for modeling provenance information designed for the Web. These specifications are synchronized and can be read and used as a whole.
We’ve included starting points, more examples, clearer guidance and a modular structure. In the rest of this post we’ll walk you through the 3 specifications that make up this family.
The best place to start is the PROV-PRIMER, this provides an intuitive overview of how to use PROV to describe provenance. Key concepts are illustrated using a newspaper scenario and examples are given in turtle.
If your aiming to use PROV in a Semantic Web application your next stop will be PROV-O. This is the OWL version of the PROV Data Model and defines all the classes and properties to interchange provenance. The document provides not only a reference to the ontology itself but also a guide to its components including examples in turtle. You can download the ontology itself, which has extensive documentation.
To help ensure that PROV can be used in a variety of technology settings, the model itself is defined in a serialization independent way in the PROV-DM. This document is the core reference for PROV and provides natural language definitions and examples of all concepts in PROV. It is complemented by PROV-N and PROV-CONSTRAINTS. PROV-N is a helpful notation particularly designed for people to write examples of PROV. Finally, PROV-CONSTRAINTS provides a definitions of constraints and inferences that can be applied to provenance information represented in PROV.
Approaching Last Call
The working group is now looking for your feedback. We believe that we are approaching a spec that’s ready to be used and spread around the Web. This is your chance to give us input. Will it work for your application? Is anything missing? Does something not fit? Send us your input at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to seeing many prov: in your applications and pages.