Report: Provenance Working Group 3rd Face-to-Face Meeting

Last week, the Provenance Working Group had its third F2F meeting in Santa Barbara, CA. Our last meeting was February and we’ve made extensive progress since then. In May, we released a synchronous release of the core documents that make up PROV. After that the group, continued to polish the documents in order to progress towards Last Call. At this F2F our main goal was to resolve the last remaining technical issues that would be allow us to achieve the milestone of Last Call. In addition, we outlined a timetable for proceeding to recommendation status. In particular, we discussed implementations.

Last Call – Here we come!

We entered the F2F meeting with 6 outstanding technical issues. I’m happy to say we were able to resolve all of these issues at the meeting and the editors of the PROV data model and ontology are implementing these resolutions by the end of this week. An example of the sort of issue that was outstanding was whether collections and dictionaries should be included in the core specification. Dictionaries provide a great facility for describing the provenance/evolution of data structures like hash tables. However, the group decided that this fit better as a working group note while still including a place holder for generic collections in the core specification.

We think with these changes the documents should be ready for Last Call by mid-july and out for review in the beginning of August.


A key part of becoming a W3C recommendation is having interoperable implementations. We put in place a team to create and build our implementation report. Importantly, we identified some fantastic implementations within the group that will use PROV, including: a linked data generation framework, a python api, a clinical data management application, a workflow system, and a PROV specific visualizer. Beyond the group, we are actively looking for applications that will implement PROV. Let us know if your implementing PROV.


The group is working hard to implement the specifications ready for community review. Likewise, we are defining a series of Notes that will support the usage and adoption of the PROV specifications. We hope you can set aside some time in August and September to give us your feedback.

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