Provenance Week 2018
published: (updated: )
by Harshvardhan J. Pandit
academia blog conference travel
Provenance Week is a series of workshops centered around the theme of provenance. These are namely IPAW (International Provenance and Annotation Workshop), TAPP (Usenix Workshop on the Theory and Practice of Provenance), which are the two main workshops, as well as Workshop on Algorithm Accountability Using Provenance, Workshop on Incremental Re-Computation: Provenance and Beyond, and 2nd Workshop on Provenance-based Security. I was there for a poster paper, presenting my work on extracting provenance from Privacy Policies. It is still work in progress, but the presentation of this was very fruitful in a provenance-dedicated event.
Being workshops, the scale of events was much smaller. The venue was Kings College in London, which is a very nice place. However, lunch was pretty much sandwiches everyday (just like in Ireland), which was a little off-putting for me. The event being provenance-focused, I was very much interested in the various things people were working on, and had many productive conversations.
In particular, there was a paper on a GDPR based provenance ontology which I was keen to check out. It just so happened that I met the author completely by accident well before the event had even started. I arrived nearly an hour earlier than I was supposed to, and so was busy working away on my laptop. Another attendee also turned up soon, and we got around to chatting about our work at the table. I mentioned it to him that I was particularly keen on this GDPR paper and was looking forward to talking to its author(s). Right at that moment, the guy sitting in the table in front of us turned back, and went, "yeah, I'm that person...", and we introduced ourselves and had some proper conversations throughout the event.
There were a lot of events arranged in the event, one for everyday. First day was a pub outing, which I didn't attend because I wanted to go around London. The second night was the conference reception, which was on the top floor of the building, and had a really amazing view of the Thames. It was also the night of the semi-final for the football world-cup, and there was one big TV in the room with everyone following the match. The food was quite good. Later outings involved a boat ride, and another pub outing, both of which I missed.
Overall, provenance week was a good event, especially given my research interests in the domain, and I also got to know other people and their work. Presenting the poster was a first for me (I had never presented a poster before), so this was a learning experience in just standing around and waiting (hoping) for people to come and pretend to be interested in my work. To be fair, there were a few, and I had good conversations regarding research and other work. Maybe collaboration if possible in the future. My impression was good regarding the event, and next year, I will be vying to present a full paper.