Encyclopedia of Database Systems

2009 Edition

Data Provenance

  • Amarnath Gupta
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-39940-9_1305



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.

Key Points

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 this...

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Recommended Reading

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    Bose R. and Frew J. Lineage retrieval for scientific data processing: a survey. ACM Comput. Surv., 37(1):1–28, 2005.Google Scholar
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    Buneman P., Khanna S., Tajima K., and Tan W.-C. Archiving scientific data. In Proc. ACM SIGMOD Conf. on Management of Data, 2002, pp. 1–12.Google Scholar
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    Buneman P., Khanna S., and Tan W.C. On propagation of deletions and annotations through views. In Proc. 21st ACM SIGACT-SIGMOD-SIGART Symp. on Principles of Database Systems, 2002, pp. 150–158.Google Scholar
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    Simmhan Y.L., Plale B., and Gannon D. A Survey of Data Provenance Techniques. Technical Report TR618, Department of Computer Science, Indiana University, 2005.Google Scholar
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    Widom J. Trio: A System for Integrated Management of Data, Accuracy, and Lineage. In Proc. 2nd Biennial Conference on Innovative Data Systems Research, 2005, pp. 262–276.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amarnath Gupta
    • 1
  1. 1.University of California San DiegoLa JollaUSA