From PROV Overview: "Provenance is information about entities, activities, and people involved in producing a piece of data or thing, which can be used to form assessments about its quality, reliability or trustworthiness." Provenance traces the history of an artifact, its processes and inputs, their processes and inputs, etc.
- Provenance overlaps almost completely with the problems that Value Flows is working on.
- Provenance models are a lot like Value Flows models.
- Provenance vocabularies are a lot like Value Flows vocabs.
- We might be sisters!
Similarities to Value Flows
This is from OPM. The P's are Processes, the Ag's are Agents, The A's are Artifacts (Resources).
Provenance goes backward from the end of a flow, just like value equations.
Provenance as a business, or provenance + blockchains
Trying to figure out how to think about this. They are building on Ethereum. Which I actually like. I sent an email to ask if they are open source. They responded that a lot of their code is not open source yet, but they intend it to be so in the future. All of their Ethereum code is open source now. I might get more answers, and will update this wiki page as they come in.
I can see how it might work, though. I know you can track the provenance of a single asset (resource) via blockchains. You can read about that here, about tracking diamonds. That was the first credible use of blockchains that I ever saw, except for currency speculation and criminal activity.
But Provenance promises to track processes with their inputs and outputs, as well as the history of a given resource.
They want to attract large corporations. [Correction: they say "We aren't interested in attracting large corps per se - we mostly work with SMEs... We are a marketing tool for small authentic brands to prove the provenance of their products.] They want to economic events with barcode readers, RFID thingies, etc. They want each economic event to be digitally signed. So some agent (presumably a business) will digitally sign the log of a process and its inputs and outputs. And all of that will exist in the Ethereum blockchain.
I think that is all interesting. Even ingenious. Might even work, within some boundaries.
But my questions about that whole scenario include:
- Doesn't that give you a hard dependency on Ethereum and its singular blockchain?
- What if the other events in the provenance graphs were digitally signed and logged on some other blockchain?
- Can we do better with signed Linked Open Data on the open Web?
What do you all think? What am I missing?