Earth Science Provenance Ontology (PROV-ES)


Notes from session

- Goal of provenance based work of any kind is transparency of work / derivations that led to research product

                - "Cake is baked, but we don't know the recipe"


Overview of PROV

- Documentation can be found:

- Standard (first order) terms: Activity, Agent(s)(human and software based)

- Predicates: wasAssociatedWith; startedAtTime,

- Expanded terms : Agent : person, organization, softwareAgent;  Entity: collection, plan, bundle


Started as WG in 2013

Goals are: - better understand lineage and dependencies of ESDRs

- Provide an interoperable representation of prove for NASA EOS missions that adhere to the NASA Preservation Information Architecture

- Want to look broader than simply ESIP prospective

Motivation: One of the things T. Berners-Lee originally envisioned was a way to use provenance of web resources to understand and establish trust. PROV-ES wants to narrow scope and envision a way to use PROV for ES specific products (software, data, visualizations, publications, etch.)

Use cases: creating a dataset, using a data set, data set re-gridding across different instruments, Sea-level rise,

USE case exercises and mapping: [URL to google doc coming from Hook ?]

Preservation and Stewardship wiki (Will be updated soon) :


Two approaches to extending PROV

Via Subclassing

  • take baseline classes and subclass them in an ontological way
  • leverage extended cocnepts for earth sicence dat systems
  • retain ontological concepts
  • could leverage rules / classifications to assert extended classes

Via Attributes

  • does not retain hierarchy
  • can reuse existing w3c prov tools …
  • could leverage rules  / classifications to assert attributes to extended classes

- The two approaches aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive.

- An attribute approach though requires querying and searching.

- With sublcassing open world assumptions are preserved, and therefore inference is possible. 

- Question for discussion : Which approach is right for the ES community?

- Currently, PROV operates as top-level ontology, with many very specific project level applications at project level. PROV – ES  should is aiming slightly higher than application level for ES community.



Hua, H.; Tilmes, C.; Earth Science Provenance Ontology (PROV-ES); Winter Meeting 2014. ESIP Commons , November 2013