On the Expressiveness of Implicit Provenance in Query and Update Languages.

Peter Buneman, James Cheney, Stijn Vansummeren

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Information concerning the origin of data (that is, its provenance) is important in many areas, especially scientific recordkeeping. Currently, provenance information must be maintained explicitly, by added effort of the database maintainer. Since such maintenance is tedious and error-prone, it is desirable to provide support for provenance in the database system itself. In order to provide such support, however, it is important to provide a clear explanation of the behavior and meaning of existing database operations, both queries and updates, with respect to provenance. In this paper we take the view that a query or update implicitly defines a provenance mapping linking components of the output to the originating components in the input. Our key result is that the proposed semantics are expressively complete relative to natural classes of queries that explicitly manipulate provenance.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDatabase Theory – ICDT 2007
Subtitle of host publication11th International Conference, Barcelona, Spain, January 10-12, 2007. Proceedings
EditorsThomas Schwentick, Dan Suciu
PublisherSpringer Physica
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-540-69270-6
ISBN (Print)978-3-540-69269-0
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science

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