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The Provenance Architecure

Provenance is already well understood in the study of fine art where it refers to the documented history of some art object. Given that documented history, the object attains an authority that allows scholars to understand and appreciate its importance and context relative to other works. Art objects that do not have a proven history may be treated with some skepticism by those who study them. Such an idea, transposed into computer systems, has immediate, practical use: if the provenance of data produced by computer systems could be determined as it can for some works of art, then users would be able to understand how documents were assembled, how simulation results were determined, or how financial analyses were carried out.

The term 'provenance' is used to refer to both the concept of how some item came to be as it is, i.e. the process that led to that item, and the representation of that process. The latter can be obtained as the result of a query over a set of documentation regarding past application processes, process documentation. Process documentation is comprised of a set of assertions made by actors involved in application processes about those processes.

This page provides links to various aspects of the architecture. The requirements page describes the list of requirements used in the development of the architecture taken from the three exemplar applications used in the project.The Provenance Architecture page describes the architecture developed by the project. The PrIMe Methodology page describes the PrIMe methodology which enables developers to develop provenance-aware applications. Finally, the The Provenance Tutorial page presents amny documents and powerpoint presentations that give a complete picture of how to use the provenance architecture.