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Informatics 2018, 5(1), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/informatics5010014

Utilizing Provenance in Reusable Research Objects

1
School of Computing, DePaul University, Chicago, IL 60604, USA
2
Department of Computer Science, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 5 December 2017 / Revised: 27 January 2018 / Accepted: 2 March 2018 / Published: 8 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Using Computational Provenance)
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Abstract

Science is conducted collaboratively, often requiring the sharing of knowledge about computational experiments. When experiments include only datasets, they can be shared using Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs) or Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs). An experiment, however, seldom includes only datasets, but more often includes software, its past execution, provenance, and associated documentation. The Research Object has recently emerged as a comprehensive and systematic method for aggregation and identification of diverse elements of computational experiments. While a necessary method, mere aggregation is not sufficient for the sharing of computational experiments. Other users must be able to easily recompute on these shared research objects. Computational provenance is often the key to enable such reuse. In this paper, we show how reusable research objects can utilize provenance to correctly repeat a previous reference execution, to construct a subset of a research object for partial reuse, and to reuse existing contents of a research object for modified reuse. We describe two methods to summarize provenance that aid in understanding the contents and past executions of a research object. The first method obtains a process-view by collapsing low-level system information, and the second method obtains a summary graph by grouping related nodes and edges with the goal to obtain a graph view similar to application workflow. Through detailed experiments, we show the efficacy and efficiency of our algorithms. View Full-Text
Keywords: reusable research object; reproducibility; provenance graph; summarization graph; interactive reproducibility reusable research object; reproducibility; provenance graph; summarization graph; interactive reproducibility
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Yuan, Z.; Ton That, D.H.; Kothari, S.; Fils, G.; Malik, T. Utilizing Provenance in Reusable Research Objects. Informatics 2018, 5, 14.

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