An object’s history and how it arose, in other words its provenance, grant it status. Translating this to computing will allow the information generated and managed within distributed networks to be proven and trusted. Laying the foundations for this translation is a team of European researchers.
The importance of understanding the process by which a result was generated is fundamental to many real-life applications in science, engineering, medical domain, supply management, etc. Without such information, users cannot reproduce, analyse or validate processes or experiments. Provenance is therefore important to enable users, scientists and engineers to trace how a particular result came about.
Networks of computers at distributed locations, also known as Grids, operate by dynamically creating services at opportunistic moments to satisfy the need of some user. As Steve Munroe, Exploitation Manager for the EU Provenance project at the University of Southampton explains: “These services may belong to different stakeholders operating under various different policies about information sharing. The results provided by such a composition of services must, however, be trusted by the user and yet, when the services disband, how are we to obtain the verification of the processes that contributed to the final result?”
Tara Morris | alfa
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