The TaPP Workshop
The annual Workshop on Theory and Practice of Provenance (TaPP) gathers the international and interdisciplinary provenance community to present and discuss novel research and practical applications of provenance. This year, TaPP was hosted by the University of Washington in Seattle from June 22 to June 23, 2017.
The scientific program consisted of 11 paper presentations, a poster session for preliminary results, and two keynote speeches given by Tyson Condie from UCLA and David Archer from Galois Inc. These keynotes highlighted two different uses of provenance: the first one focused on provenance-based debugging of data-intensive scalable computing while the second one reported on how persistent threat detection can benefit from provenance.
The University of Stuttgart and the SFB-TRR 161 were present at TaPP with two papers. Ralf Diestelkämper presented the paper “Provenance in DISC Systems: Reducing Space Overhead at Runtime” that discusses how to make the collection of provenance information more light-weight during data-intensive scalable computing, depending on the target application of provenance. The proposed approach relies on sampling the input data based on the definition of equivalence classes. A preliminary empirical evaluation shows that provenance collection for a fraction of the input data items is actually sufficient to satisfy many use cases of provenance applications such as debugging and data exploration.
In our paper “Provenance-based Recommendations for Visual Data Exploration”, we leverage two types of provenance to assist users in exploring the data stored in a data warehouse. We propose a data model to collect the necessary provenance, including provenance of data users have interacted with via a graphical user interface and provenance recording the evolution of the interactive visualizations. This provenance information is then part of the input of our recommendation algorithms that recommend both data warehouse queries and suited visualizations of these queries’ results.
Visiting Microsoft and Tableau
During our stay in Seattle, we visited both Microsoft and Tableau to present and discuss our research (and, admittedly, to also get an impression of the two companies’ headquarters). We would like to thank Jock Mackinlay (Tableau Research) and Matteo Interlandi (Microsoft) for hosting us, showing us around, and most importantly, for the insightful discussions.