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Causality in the Semantics of Esterel: Revisited
MohammadReza Mousavi
Electronic Proceedings in Theoretical Computer Science , 2010, DOI: 10.4204/eptcs.18.3
Abstract: We re-examine the challenges concerning causality in the semantics of Esterel and show that they pertain to the known issues in the semantics of Structured Operational Semantics with negative premises. We show that the solutions offered for the semantics of SOS also provide answers to the semantic challenges of Esterel and that they satisfy the intuitive requirements set by the language designers.
A coalgebraic semantics for causality in Petri nets  [PDF]
Roberto Bruni,Ugo Montanari,Matteo Sammartino
Computer Science , 2015, DOI: 10.1016/j.jlamp.2015.07.003
Abstract: In this paper we revisit some pioneering efforts to equip Petri nets with compact operational models for expressing causality. The models we propose have a bisimilarity relation and a minimal representative for each equivalence class, and they can be fully explained as coalgebras on a presheaf category on an index category of partial orders. First, we provide a set-theoretic model in the form of a a causal case graph, that is a labeled transition system where states and transitions represent markings and firings of the net, respectively, and are equipped with causal information. Most importantly, each state has a poset representing causal dependencies among past events. Our first result shows the correspondence with behavior structure semantics as proposed by Trakhtenbrot and Rabinovich. Causal case graphs may be infinitely-branching and have infinitely many states, but we show how they can be refined to get an equivalent finitely-branching model. In it, states are equipped with symmetries, which are essential for the existence of a minimal, often finite-state, model. The next step is constructing a coalgebraic model. We exploit the fact that events can be represented as names, and event generation as name generation. Thus we can apply the Fiore-Turi framework: we model causal relations as a suitable category of posets with action labels, and generation of new events with causal dependencies as an endofunctor on this category. Then we define a well-behaved category of coalgebras. Our coalgebraic model is still infinite-state, but we exploit the equivalence between coalgebras over a class of presheaves and History Dependent automata to derive a compact representation, which is equivalent to our set-theoretical compact model. Remarkably, state reduction is automatically performed along the equivalence.
Provenance Traces  [PDF]
James Cheney,Umut Acar,Amal Ahmed
Computer Science , 2008,
Abstract: Provenance is information about the origin, derivation, ownership, or history of an object. It has recently been studied extensively in scientific databases and other settings due to its importance in helping scientists judge data validity, quality and integrity. However, most models of provenance have been stated as ad hoc definitions motivated by informal concepts such as "comes from", "influences", "produces", or "depends on". These models lack clear formalizations describing in what sense the definitions capture these intuitive concepts. This makes it difficult to compare approaches, evaluate their effectiveness, or argue about their validity. We introduce provenance traces, a general form of provenance for the nested relational calculus (NRC), a core database query language. Provenance traces can be thought of as concrete data structures representing the operational semantics derivation of a computation; they are related to the traces that have been used in self-adjusting computation, but differ in important respects. We define a tracing operational semantics for NRC queries that produces both an ordinary result and a trace of the execution. We show that three pre-existing forms of provenance for the NRC can be extracted from provenance traces. Moreover, traces satisfy two semantic guarantees: consistency, meaning that the traces describe what actually happened during execution, and fidelity, meaning that the traces "explain" how the expression would behave if the input were changed. These guarantees are much stronger than those contemplated for previous approaches to provenance; thus, provenance traces provide a general semantic foundation for comparing and unifying models of provenance in databases.
Provenance for Aggregate Queries  [PDF]
Yael Amsterdamer,Daniel Deutch,Val Tannen
Computer Science , 2011,
Abstract: We study in this paper provenance information for queries with aggregation. Provenance information was studied in the context of various query languages that do not allow for aggregation, and recent work has suggested to capture provenance by annotating the different database tuples with elements of a commutative semiring and propagating the annotations through query evaluation. We show that aggregate queries pose novel challenges rendering this approach inapplicable. Consequently, we propose a new approach, where we annotate with provenance information not just tuples but also the individual values within tuples, using provenance to describe the values computation. We realize this approach in a concrete construction, first for "simple" queries where the aggregation operator is the last one applied, and then for arbitrary (positive) relational algebra queries with aggregation; the latter queries are shown to be more challenging in this context. Finally, we use aggregation to encode queries with difference, and study the semantics obtained for such queries on provenance annotated databases.
A Core Calculus for Provenance  [PDF]
Umut A. Acar,Amal Ahmed,James Cheney,Roly Perera
Computer Science , 2013, DOI: 10.3233/JCS-130487
Abstract: Provenance is an increasing concern due to the ongoing revolution in sharing and processing scientific data on the Web and in other computer systems. It is proposed that many computer systems will need to become provenance-aware in order to provide satisfactory accountability, reproducibility, and trust for scientific or other high-value data. To date, there is not a consensus concerning appropriate formal models or security properties for provenance. In previous work, we introduced a formal framework for provenance security and proposed formal definitions of properties called disclosure and obfuscation. In this article, we study refined notions of positive and negative disclosure and obfuscation in a concrete setting, that of a general-purpose programing language. Previous models of provenance have focused on special-purpose languages such as workflows and database queries. We consider a higher-order, functional language with sums, products, and recursive types and functions, and equip it with a tracing semantics in which traces themselves can be replayed as computations. We present an annotation-propagation framework that supports many provenance views over traces, including standard forms of provenance studied previously. We investigate some relationships among provenance views and develop some partial solutions to the disclosure and obfuscation problems, including correct algorithms for disclosure and positive obfuscation based on trace slicing.
Dynamic Provenance for SPARQL Update  [PDF]
Harry Halpin,James Cheney
Computer Science , 2014,
Abstract: While the Semantic Web currently can exhibit provenance information by using the W3C PROV standards, there is a "missing link" in connecting PROV to storing and querying for dynamic changes to RDF graphs using SPARQL. Solving this problem would be required for such clear use-cases as the creation of version control systems for RDF. While some provenance models and annotation techniques for storing and querying provenance data originally developed with databases or workflows in mind transfer readily to RDF and SPARQL, these techniques do not readily adapt to describing changes in dynamic RDF datasets over time. In this paper we explore how to adapt the dynamic copy-paste provenance model of Buneman et al. [2] to RDF datasets that change over time in response to SPARQL updates, how to represent the resulting provenance records themselves as RDF in a manner compatible with W3C PROV, and how the provenance information can be defined by reinterpreting SPARQL updates. The primary contribution of this paper is a semantic framework that enables the semantics of SPARQL Update to be used as the basis for a 'cut-and-paste' provenance model in a principled manner.
A Provenance Tracking Model for Data Updates
Gabriel Ciobanu,Ross Horne
Electronic Proceedings in Theoretical Computer Science , 2012, DOI: 10.4204/eptcs.91.3
Abstract: For data-centric systems, provenance tracking is particularly important when the system is open and decentralised, such as the Web of Linked Data. In this paper, a concise but expressive calculus which models data updates is presented. The calculus is used to provide an operational semantics for a system where data and updates interact concurrently. The operational semantics of the calculus also tracks the provenance of data with respect to updates. This provides a new formal semantics extending provenance diagrams which takes into account the execution of processes in a concurrent setting. Moreover, a sound and complete model for the calculus based on ideals of series-parallel DAGs is provided. The notion of provenance introduced can be used as a subjective indicator of the quality of data in concurrent interacting systems.
Provenance for SPARQL queries  [PDF]
C. V. Damásio,A. Analyti,G. Antoniou
Computer Science , 2012, DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-35176-1_39
Abstract: Determining trust of data available in the Semantic Web is fundamental for applications and users, in particular for linked open data obtained from SPARQL endpoints. There exist several proposals in the literature to annotate SPARQL query results with values from abstract models, adapting the seminal works on provenance for annotated relational databases. We provide an approach capable of providing provenance information for a large and significant fragment of SPARQL 1.1, including for the first time the major non-monotonic constructs under multiset semantics. The approach is based on the translation of SPARQL into relational queries over annotated relations with values of the most general m-semiring, and in this way also refuting a claim in the literature that the OPTIONAL construct of SPARQL cannot be captured appropriately with the known abstract models.
A unified framework for managing provenance information in translational research
Satya S Sahoo, Vinh Nguyen, Olivier Bodenreider, Priti Parikh, Todd Minning, Amit P Sheth
BMC Bioinformatics , 2011, DOI: 10.1186/1471-2105-12-461
Abstract: We identify a common set of challenges in managing provenance information across the pre-publication and post-publication phases of data in the translational research lifecycle. We define the semantic provenance framework (SPF), underpinned by the Provenir upper-level provenance ontology, to address these challenges in the four stages of provenance metadata:(a) Provenance collection - during data generation(b) Provenance representation - to support interoperability, reasoning, and incorporate domain semantics(c) Provenance storage and propagation - to allow efficient storage and seamless propagation of provenance as the data is transferred across applications(d) Provenance query - to support queries with increasing complexity over large data size and also support knowledge discovery applicationsWe apply the SPF to two exemplar translational research projects, namely the Semantic Problem Solving Environment for Trypanosoma cruzi (T.cruzi SPSE) and the Biomedical Knowledge Repository (BKR) project, to demonstrate its effectiveness.The SPF provides a unified framework to effectively manage provenance of translational research data during pre and post-publication phases. This framework is underpinned by an upper-level provenance ontology called Provenir that is extended to create domain-specific provenance ontologies to facilitate provenance interoperability, seamless propagation of provenance, automated querying, and analysis.The key notion of translational research is the flow of information resources (experiment data, publications/literature, clinical trial data, or patient records) across organizations, domains, and projects that impacts both patient care and (through a feedback process) basic research. This necessitates keeping track of the provenance metadata of resources from the point of their creation to intermediate processing, and finally their end use. Provenance, derived from the French term provenir meaning "to come from", has traditionally played an impor
Provenance as Dependency Analysis  [PDF]
James Cheney,Amal Ahmed,Umut Acar
Computer Science , 2007,
Abstract: Provenance is information recording the source, derivation, or history of some information. Provenance tracking has been studied in a variety of settings; however, although many design points have been explored, the mathematical or semantic foundations of data provenance have received comparatively little attention. In this paper, we argue that dependency analysis techniques familiar from program analysis and program slicing provide a formal foundation for forms of provenance that are intended to show how (part of) the output of a query depends on (parts of) its input. We introduce a semantic characterization of such dependency provenance, show that this form of provenance is not computable, and provide dynamic and static approximation techniques.
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