News Column

Researchers Submit Patent Application, "Transparently Tracking Provenance Information in Distributed Data Systems", for Approval

August 26, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Information Technology Newsweekly -- From Washington, D.C., VerticalNews journalists report that a patent application by the inventors Castro, Paul C. (Sharon, MA); Pistoia, Marco (Amawalk, NY); Ponzo, John (Shrub Oak, NY), filed on February 7, 2013, was made available online on August 14, 2014.

The patent's assignee is International Business Machines Corporation.

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention relates to tracking provenance information and, more particularly, to tracking provenance information in distributed systems by automatic embedding.

"Enterprises are increasingly interested in the area of data provenance, which involves tracking the lineage of data in a computing system. Understanding the pedigree of data is important when determining whether to trust that data, a process that is involved in many enterprise activities such as maintaining data retention compliance, audits of business processes, and tracking data security. Provenance assists in understanding how data evolves; provenance systems can keep information about how data is created, transformed, and replicated across different nodes in a distributed system.

"In existing provenance systems, the provenance tracking capability is deliberately added as a data management system that runs in parallel with the system being observed. Access to the internals of the observed systems is needed to insert tracking code that is specifically configured for the system. In some cases, provenance tracking can be accomplished with less-invasive integration, e.g. tracking provenance gained from observing network traffic. However, this is limited in scope, such that more invasive approaches are needed to collect detailed provenance information that is potentially required, e.g. tracking the version history of a data item that is never sent over a network.

"Furthermore, existing provenance tracking systems are typically applied to enterprise applications using enterprise storage, where access to the internals of the storage systems is available. However, there is a trend where enterprises are allowing their employees to use consumer devices and applications (sometimes called Bring-Your-Own-Device or BYOD). In this environment, it is useful to track provenance even if the user is using a non-enterprise application and storage provider. However, existing applications and devices do not support this type of provenance tracking, and there is no prospect for developers of such applications to introduce such features."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "A method for enabling an application to track provenance information is shown that includes analyzing an application binary to discover injection points for provenance tracking code; overwriting instructions in the application binary at the injection points with a processor to create an instrumented application, wherein the overwritten instructions link the application binary to one or more instrumented libraries that invoke a provenance layer to track data operations; and deploying the instrumented application on a client device.

"A method for tracking provenance information is shown that includes catching and logging data events performed by an instrumented application at a provenance layer with a processor, wherein overwritten instructions link the instrumented application binary to one or more instrumented libraries that invoke the provenance layer to track data operations; and creating a provenance log that includes the logged data events.

"A system for enabling an application to track provenance information is shown that includes an application analysis module configured to analyze an application binary to discover injection points for provenance tracking code; and an instruction alteration module comprising a processor configured to overwrite instructions in the application binary at the injection points to create an instrumented application, wherein the overwritten instructions link the application binary to one or more instrumented libraries that invoke a provenance layer to track data operations.

"A system for tracking provenance information is shown that includes an instrumented application binary on a client device, wherein overwritten instructions link the instrumented application binary to one or more instrumented libraries that invoke a provenance layer to track data operations, wherein the provenance layer is configured to catch and log data events performed by the instrumented application.

"These and other features and advantages will become apparent from the following detailed description of illustrative embodiments thereof, which is to be read in connection with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

"The disclosure will provide details in the following description of preferred embodiments with reference to the following figures wherein:

"FIG. 1 is a diagram of a provenance tracking system in accordance with the present principles;

"FIG. 2 is a block/flow diagram of a method for providing an instrumented application that tracks provenance information in accordance with the present principles;

"FIG. 3 is a diagram of an instrumented application in accordance with the present principles;

"FIG. 4 is a block/flow diagram of a method for tracking provenance information in accordance with the present principles;

"FIG. 5 is a block/flow diagram of a method for receiving provenance information from an instrumented application in accordance with the present principles; and

"FIG. 6 is a diagram of an application instrumentation system in accordance with the present principles."

For additional information on this patent application, see: Castro, Paul C.; Pistoia, Marco; Ponzo, John. Transparently Tracking Provenance Information in Distributed Data Systems. Filed February 7, 2013 and posted August 14, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=634&p=13&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140807.PD.&OS=PD/20140807&RS=PD/20140807

Keywords for this news article include: Information Technology, Information and Data Systems, International Business Machines Corporation.

Our reports deliver fact-based news of research and discoveries from around the world. Copyright 2014, NewsRx LLC


For more stories covering the world of technology, please see HispanicBusiness' Tech Channel



Source: Information Technology Newsweekly


Story Tools






HispanicBusiness.com Facebook Linkedin Twitter RSS Feed Email Alerts & Newsletters