The Open Provenance Model

The OPM Provenance Model (OPM)

1. Background

The Open Provenance Model OPM is the result of the Provenance Challenge series that was initiated in May 2006, at the first IPAW workshop. OPM was originally crafted in a meeting held in Salt Lake City in August 2007. OPM v1.00 was released to the community in December 2007. The first OPM workshop in June 2008 involved some twenty participants discussing issues related to this specification, and led to a revised specification, referred to as OPM v1.01. From the outset, the original authors' intent has been to define a data model that is open from an inter-operability viewpoint but also with respect to the community of its contributors, reviewers and users. To ensure that these principles are adhered to, an "open source like" governance model for OPM was adopted in June 2009, which led to the development of OPM v1.1, the most recent version of the model, which went under a public revision process.

This Web site provides key pointers to documents, programs and discussions related to the Open Provenance Model. It complements the OPM wiki which can be found at:

2. Specifications

Several specifications pertaining to the Open Provenance Model are available.

OPM: The Open Provenance Model: Abstract Model
Latest OPM specification: Luc Moreau, Ben Clifford, Juliana Freire, Joe Futrelle, Yolanda Gil, Paul Groth, Natalia Kwasnikowska, Simon Miles, Paolo Missier, Jim Myers, Beth Plale, Yogesh Simmhan, Eric Stephan, and Jan Van den Bussche. The open provenance model core specification (v1.1). Future Generation Computer Systems, July 2010. (doi: 10.1016/j.future.2010.07.005) (url:

OPMX: The Open Provenance Model XML Schema
The schema OPMX, with namespace, defines xsd types for entities defined in the abstract model.

OPMV: The Open Provenance Model Vocabulary
The ontology OPMV, with namespace, is a lightweight ontology principally caring about assertion of OPM concepts.

OPMO: The Open Provenance Model OWL Ontology
The ontology OPMO, with namespace, extends OPMV and defines classes and properties allowing all permitted inferences of the abstract model to be made.

OPM4J: The Open Provenance Model Java Library
The OPM4J library is a JAXB-generated Java Library for creating in memory Java representation of OPM graphs and serializing them to/from xml. It is part of the OPM Toolbox, a toolkit to manipulate OPM graphs and encode them in all its possible representations.

OPM has a modular design illustrated by the following layered architecture.

Specifications have not been produced for all the layers, but work has begun on all of them. At the bottom layer, we find the abstract model, which includes an extension mechanism, referred to as profile. Essential profiles to deal with collections and attribution are emerging. On the left-hand side, a serialization to XML has been defined with OPMX, and a mapping to RDF with OPMV and OPMO. On the right-hand side, discussion is beginning on protocols to access provenance, embed it, and query it. Specializations for OPM can be defined for specific application domains.

3. Useful Pointers

Tutorial: The Open Provenance Model Tutorial.

OPM Graph Examples
- An example of OPM graph, expressed according to OPMX and OPMO, is available from
- Guide to the Open Provenance Vocabulary, by Jun Zhao. Online at

Provenance Challenge: The third edition of the Provenance Challenge used the Open Provenance Model for exchanging provenance information.

Systems: Systems implementing OPM.
- The OPM Toolbox is a Java toolkit to manipulate OPM graphs.
- The Tupelo Semantic Content Repository provides an implementation of OPM.
- Taverna offers a provenance export capability to OPM.
- ProvenanceJS is a JavaScript library that allows for the retrieval and visualization of the provenance information within a Web page and its embedded content offers a provenance export capability to OPM.
- VisTrails has an export to OPM xml menu.
- Swift can export OPM.
- eBioFlow uses OPM to capture provenance of workflow execution and includes a visualization based on OPM
- Karma provenance collection toolkit.
- ourSpaces virtual research environment is supporting OPM.
- OPMProv an implementation of OPM over a relational database.
- A Kepler provenance listener can export OPM.
- A PLIER (Provenance Layer Infrastructure for e-Science Resources) relies on OPM.
- A Living Knowledge export OPM-based provenance usign the OPM Toolbox
- A WebN+1 tracks the provenance of the guides, images, videos and posts of the digital platforms that aggregate heterogeneous content
- A SPADE aims to provide support for provenance auditing in distributed environments.

-Let us know about systems implementing OPM

- A lightweight opensource-like governance model was adopted for OPM.

Old OPM page