PROV – DM (Data Model)

PROV-­DM is the conceptual data model that forms a basis for the W3C provenance (PROV) family of specifications. The following diagram provides a high level overview of the structure of PROV records.


By looking at the picture above, there are 3 PROV-DM Types (Entity, Activity, and Agent) and 6 PROV-DM Relations (WasGeneratedBy, Used, WasInformedBy, WasDerivedFrom, WasAttributedTo, WasAssociatedWith, ActedOnBehalfOf).

•An entity is a physical, digital, conceptual, or other kind of thing with some fixed aspects; entities may be real or imaginary. It is normally drawn like

•An activity is something that occurs over a period of time and acts upon or with entities; it may include consuming, processing, transforming, modifying, relocating, using, or generating entities. It is normally drawn like

•An agent is something that bears some form of responsibility for an activity taking place, for the existence of an entity, or for another agent’s activity. It is normally drawn like



•WasGeneratedBy – Generation is the completion of production of a new entity by an activity. This entity did not exist before generation and becomes available for usage after this generation.
•Used – Usage is the beginning of utilizing an entity by an activity.
•WasInformedBy – Communication is the exchange of some unspecified entity by two activities, one activity using some entity generated by the other.
•WasDerivedFrom – A derivation is a transformation of an entity into another, an update of an entity resulting in a new one, or the construction of a new entity based on a pre­existing entity.The focus of derivation is on connecting a generated entity to a used entity.
•WasAttributedTo – Attribution is the ascribing of an entity to an agent.
•WasAssociatedWith – An activity association is an assignment of responsibility to an agent for an activity, indicating that the agent had a role in the activity.
•ActOnBehalfOf – Delegation is the assignment of authority and responsibility to an agent (by itself or by another agent) to carry out a specific activity as a delegate or representative, while the agent it acts on behalf of retains some responsibility for the outcome of the delegated work.


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