Encyclopedia of Database Systems

2018 Edition
| Editors: Ling Liu, M. Tamer Özsu

Data Provenance

  • Amarnath GuptaEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-8265-9_1305


Data lineage; Data pedigree; Data tracking; Provenance metadata


The term “data provenance” refers to a record trail that accounts for the origin of a piece of data (in a database, document or repository) together with an explanation of how and why it got to the present place.


In an application like Molecular Biology, a lot of data is derived from public databases, which in turn might be derived from papers but after some transformations (only the most significant data were put in the public database), which are derived from experimental observations. A provenance record will keep this history for each piece of data.

Key Points

Databases today do not have a good way of managing provenance data and the subject is an active research area. One category of provenance research focuses on the case where one database derives some of its data by querying another database, and one may try to “invert” the query to determine which input data elements contribute to this...

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Recommended Reading

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    Bose R, Frew J. Lineage retrieval for scientific data processing: a survey. ACM Comput Surv. 2005;37(1):1–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Buneman P, Khanna S, Tajima K, Tan W-C. Archiving scientific data. In: Proceedings of the ACM SIGMOD Conference on Management of Data; 2002. p. 1–12.Google Scholar
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    Buneman P, Khanna S, Tan WC. On propagation of deletions and annotations through views. In: Proceedings of the 21st ACM SIGACT-SIGMOD-SIGART Symposium on Principles of Database Systems; 2002. p. 150–8.Google Scholar
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    Simmhan YL, Plale B, Gannon D. A survey of data provenance techniques. Technical Report TR618, Department of Computer Science, Indiana University; 2005.Google Scholar
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    Widom J. Trio: a system for integrated management of data, accuracy, and lineage. In: Proceedings of the 2nd Biennial Conference on Innovative Data Systems Research; 2005. p. 262–76.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.San Diego Supercomputer CenterUniversity of California San DiegoLa JollaUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Amarnath Gupta
    • 1
  1. 1.San Diego Supercomputer CenterUniv. of California San DiegoLa JollaUSA