Knowledge Provenance Infrastructure

The web lacks support for explaining information provenance. When web applications return answers, many users do not know what information sources were used, when they were updated, how reliable the source was, or what information was looked up versus derived. Support for information provenance is expected to be a harder problem in the Semantic Web where more answers result from some manipulation of information (instead of simple retrieval of information). Manipulation includes, among other things, retrieving, matching, aggregating, filtering, and deriving information possibly from multiple sources. This article defines a broad notion of information provenance called knowledge provenance that includes proof-like information on how a question answering system arrived at its answer(s). The article also describes an approach for a knowledge provenance infrastructure supporting the extraction, maintenance and usage of knowledge provenance related to answers of web applications and services.

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