In July 2018, approximately 100 researchers and practitioners interested in the field of provenance gathered at Provenance Week 2018 that took place at King’s College London. Among them, Sarah Oppold (PhD student, Data Engineering group at the Institute of Parallel and Distributed Systems (IPVS), University of Stuttgart) and me.

Provenance Week takes place every two years, co-locating both the biannual International Provenance and Annotation Workshop (IPAW) and the annual USENIX Workshop on the Theory and Practice of Provenance (TAPP). In addition, Provenance Week 2018 hosted three satellite workshops: Workshop on Algorithm Accountability Using Provenance, Workshop on Incremental Re-Computation: Provenance and Beyond, and Workshop on Provenance-based Security.

The Provenance Week 2018 took place in London. Here, a panorama view from the conference venue.

The IPAW Keynote entitled “From Workflows to Provenance and Reproducibility: Looking Back and Forth” was given by Bertram Ludäscher from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. In his talk, he aimed to bridge the gap and mediate between the different subareas and communities having worked on reproducibility mostly independently. IPAW further hosted five research sessions and lightning talks for subsequently presented research posters and demonstration. Among those, Sarah Oppold presented her poster paper on “Provenance for Entity Resolution”, which contributes to capturing provenance in complex data integration pipelines. Provenance capture for such pipelines has been a research focus of members of D03, for which different visualizations supporting the debugging of the data processing pipelines have been explored in collaboration with IBM Research.

Sarah Oppold during her talk.

The TAPP program included two invited talks, three research sessions, and the Provenance Week Town Hall Meeting. Celebrating the 10th edition of TAPP, one of its founding fathers, James Cheney (University of Edinburgh) argued for “Principles of Provenance: We (Still) Need Some”. In his keynote entitled “Provenance and Probabilities in Relational Databases: From Theory to Practice”, Pierre Senellart (Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris) reviewed such foundations to then show their application to probabilistic query evaluation in probabilistic databases.

I also attended the Workshop on Incremental Re-Computation: Provenance and Beyond, where I gave an invited talk on  “Incremental Recomputation in Data Integration”.

The scientific program was complemented by a social program in the evenings, allowing attendees to enjoy some nice London vistas by perfect weather.

Sarah Oppold, Melanie Herschel: Provenance for Entity Resolution. In Proceedings of the International Provenance and Annotation Workshop: 226-230

Provenance Week 2018 in London

Melanie Herschel is head of the Data Engineering group at the Institute of Parallel and Distributed Systems (IPVS) at the University of Stuttgart. She is leading project D03 entitled “Visual Exploration and Analysis of Provenance Data” within the SFB-TRR 161. In 2018, she was Program Chair of the TAPP workshop.

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