NCEAS Product 22937

Bowers, Shawn; Ludaescher, Bertram. 2006. A calculus for propagating semantic annotations through scientific workflow queries. Query Languages and Query Processing (QLQP06), EDBT Post-Conference Workshop. Vol: 4254. Munich, Germany. Pages 712-723. (Abstract) (Online version)


Scientific workflows facilitate automation, reuse, and reproducibility of scientific data management and analysis tasks. Scientific workflows are often modeled as dataflow networks, chaining together processing components (called actors) that query, transform, analyse, and visualize scientific datasets. Semantic annotations relate data and actor schemas with conceptual information from a shared ontology, to support scientific workflow design, discovery, reuse, and validation in the presence of thousands of potentially useful actors and datasets. However, the creation of semantic annotations is complex and time-consuming. We present a calculus and two inference algorithms to automatically propagate semantic annotations through workflow actors described by relational queries. Given an input annotation α and a query q, forward propagation computes an output annotation α′; conversely, backward propagation infers α from q and α′.