Communications of the ACM

The provenance of electronic data

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The determination of provenance of data produced by computer systems could be possible then users would be able to understand how documents has been assembled and how simulation results were determined, and how financial analyses were carried out. Computer applications should thus be transformed, making them provenance aware so the data's provenance may be retrieved, analyzed and reasoned over. In e-science and business, some users, reviewers, auditors, and even regulators must verify that the process that led to some result complies with specific regulations or methodologies. They must prove the result were derived independently from services or databases with given license restrictions; and they must also establish that the data was captured at the source by instruments with some precise technical characteristics.