Improving the Domain Independence of Data Provenance Ontologies: A Demonstration Using Conceptual Graphs and the W7 Model

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Provenance is becoming increasingly important as more and more people are using data that they themselves did not generate. In the last decade, significant efforts have been directed toward developing generic, shared data provenance ontologies that support the interoperability of provenance across systems. An issue that is impeding the use of such provenance ontologies is that a generic provenance ontology, no matter how complete it is, is insufficient for capturing the diverse, complex provenance requirements in different domains. In this paper, the authors propose a novel approach to adapting and extending the W7 model, a well-known generic ontology of data provenance. Relying on various knowledge expansion mechanisms provided by the Conceptual Graph formalism, the authors' approach enables us to develop domain ontologies of provenance in a disciplined yet flexible way.