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Provenance as Dependency Analysis James Cheney1

Summary: Provenance as Dependency Analysis
James Cheney1
, Amal Ahmed2
, and Umut A. Acar2
University of Edinburgh
Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago
Abstract. Provenance is information recording the source, derivation, or his-
tory of some information. Provenance tracking has been studied in a variety of
settings; however, although many design points have been explored, the mathe-
matical or semantic foundations of data provenance have received comparatively
little attention. In this paper, we argue that dependency analysis techniques famil-
iar from program analysis and program slicing provide a formal foundation for
forms of provenance that are intended to show how (part of) the output of a query
depends on (parts of) its input. We introduce a semantic characterization of such
dependency provenance, show that this form of provenance is not computable,
and provide dynamic and static approximation techniques.
1 Introduction
Provenance is information about the origin, ownership, influences upon, or other histor-


Source: Ahmed, Amal - School of Informatics, Indiana University
Gunawardena, Jeremy - Department of Systems Biology, Harvard University


Collections: Biology and Medicine; Biotechnology; Computer Technologies and Information Sciences; Engineering