Provenance for computational tasks: A survey

Juliana Freire, David Koop, Emanuele Santos, Cláudio T. Silva

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Some important concepts related to systematically capture and manage provenance for computational tasks that has relevance to a wide range of domains and applications have been discussed. A provenance management solution comprises three main components, a capture mechanism, a representational model, and an infrastructure for storage, access, and queries. A provenance capture mechanism requires access to a computational task's relevant details such as its steps, execution information, and user-specific annotations. Operating system (OS)-based capture mechanisms do not require modifications to existing processes and are agnostic about how tasks are modeled. A wide variety of data models and storage systems ranging from specialized Semantic Web languages and XML dialects stored as files to tuples stored in relational database tables have also been proposed to facilitate an infrastructure for effectively and efficiently querying data in a provenance management system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4488060
Pages (from-to)11-21
Number of pages11
JournalComputing in Science and Engineering
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2008


  • Data visualization
  • Provenance
  • VisTrails

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science
  • General Engineering


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