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Modelling the Provenance of Data in Autonomous Systems
Miles, Simon and Munroe, Steve and Luck, Michael and Moreau, Luc (2007) Modelling the Provenance of Data in Autonomous Systems. In: Proceedings of the Sixth International Joint Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems, 14-18 May 2007, Honolulu, Hawai'i.
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Determining the provenance of data, i.e. the process that led to that data, is vital in many disciplines. For example, in science, the process that produced a given result must be demonstrably rigorous for the result to be deemed reliable. A provenance system supports applications in recording adequate documentation about process executions to answer queries regarding provenance, and provides functionality to perform those queries. Several provenance systems are being developed, but all focus on systems in which the components are textitreactive, for example Web Services that act on the basis of a request, job submission system, etc. This limitation means that questions regarding the motives of autonomous actors, or textitagents, in such systems remain unanswerable in the general case. Such questions include: who was ultimately responsible for a given effect, what was their reason for initiating the process and does the effect of a process match what was intended to occur by those initiating the process? In this paper, we address this limitation by integrating two solutions: a generic, re-usable framework for representing the provenance of data in service-oriented architectures and a model for describing the goal-oriented delegation and engagement of agents in multi-agent systems. Using these solutions, we present algorithms to answer common questions regarding responsibility and success of a process and evaluate the approach with a simulated healthcare example.
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