Journal of Grid Computing

, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 1–25

The Requirements of Using Provenance in e-Science Experiments

  • Simon Miles
  • Paul Groth
  • Miguel Branco
  • Luc Moreau

DOI: 10.1007/s10723-006-9055-3

Cite this article as:
Miles, S., Groth, P., Branco, M. et al. J Grid Computing (2007) 5: 1. doi:10.1007/s10723-006-9055-3


In e-Science experiments, it is vital to record the experimental process for later use such as in interpreting results, verifying that the correct process took place or tracing where data came from. The process that led to some data is called the provenance of that data, and a provenance architecture is the software architecture for a system that will provide the necessary functionality to record, store and use process documentation to determine the provenance of data items. However, there has been little principled analysis of what is actually required of a provenance architecture, so it is impossible to determine the functionality they would ideally support. In this paper, we present use cases for a provenance architecture from current experiments in biology, chemistry, physics and computer science, and analyse the use cases to determine the technical requirements of a generic, technology and application-independent architecture. We propose an architecture that meets these requirements, analyse its features compared with other approaches and evaluate a preliminary implementation by attempting to realise two of the use cases.

Key words

e-ScienceGridprovenancerequirementsuse caseworkflow



Candidate Gene Experiment


Intron Compressibility Experiment


Provenance-Aware Service-Oriented Architecture


Particle Detection Experiment


Protein Identification Experiment


Second Harmonic Generation Experiment


Service-Oriented Architecture


Service Reliability Experiment


Security Testing Experiment


Virtual Data System

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Simon Miles
    • 1
  • Paul Groth
    • 1
  • Miguel Branco
    • 1
  • Luc Moreau
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Electronics and Computer ScienceUniversity of SouthamptonSouthamptonUK