The Providence of Provenance

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


For many years and under various names, provenance has been modelled, theorised about, standardised and implemented in various ways; it has become part of mainstream database research. Moreover, the topic has now infected nearly every branch of computer science: provenance is a problem for everyone. But what exactly is the problem? And has the copious research had any real effect on how we use databases or, more generally, how we use computers.
This is a brief attempt to summarise the research on provenance and what practical impact it has had. Although much of the research has yet to come to market, there is an increasing interest in the topic from industry; moreover, it has had a surprising impact in tangential areas such as data integration and data citation. However, we are still lacking basic tools to deal with provenance and we need a culture shift if ever we are to make full use of the technology that has already been developed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBig Data
Subtitle of host publication29th British National Conference on Databases, BNCOD 2013, Oxford, UK, July 8-10, 2013. Proceedings
EditorsGeorg Gottlob, Giovanni Grasso, Dan Olteanu, Christian Schallhart
PublisherSpringer Berlin Heidelberg
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-642-39467-6
ISBN (Print)978-3-642-39466-9
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science
PublisherSpringer Berlin Heidelberg


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