The term “data provenance” refers to a record trail that accounts for the origin of a piece of data (in a database, document or repository) together with an explanation of how and why it got to the present place.
Example: In an application like Molecular Biology, a lot of data is derived from public databases, which in turn might be derived from papers but after some transformations (only the most significant data were put in the public database), which are derived from experimental observations. A provenance record will keep this history for each piece of data.
Databases today do not have a good way of managing provenance data and the subject is an active research area. One category of provenance research focuses on the case where one database derives some of its data by querying another database, and one may try to “invert” the query to determine which input data elements contribute to t...
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