Provenance as Data Mining: Combining File System Metadata With Content Analysis

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Executive Summary

Provenance describes how an object came to be in its present state. Thus, it describes the evolution of the object over time. Prior work on provenance has focussed on databases and the file system. The database or file system is enhanced or augmented in order to capture additional information about the historical evolution of document collections, and thus answer the provenance question. The paper addresses the question of provenance for unstructured information (i.e., document corpii from file systems) but without any enhancements to the file system. To provide a solution in this setting, the paper models the provenance problem in such a setting as a problem of data mining. The paper shows that data mining can provide provenance information for repositories of unstructured information, including chains of historical evolution.

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