Provenance Collection Functions

Description Usage Arguments Details Value See Also Examples


prov.init intializes a new provenance graph. Called by the user in console mode. saves the current provenance graph to a prov-json file. If more R statements are executed, the provenance for these statements is added to the graph. The graph is finalized with prov.quit. Called by the user in console mode.

prov.quit saves and closes the current provenance graph. Called by the user in console mode. initiates execution of a script and collects provenance as the script executes.


prov.init(r.script.path = NULL, prov.dir = NULL, overwrite = TRUE,
  annotate.inside.functions = FALSE, first.loop = 1, max.loops = 0,
  max.snapshot.size = 0, hash.algorithm = "md5") = FALSE)

prov.quit(save.debug = FALSE) = NULL, prov.dir = NULL, overwrite = TRUE,
  f = NULL, annotate.inside.functions = FALSE, first.loop = 1,
  max.loops = 0, max.snapshot.size = 0, save.debug = FALSE,
  display = FALSE, hash.algorithm = "md5")



the full path to the R script file that is being executed. If provided, a copy of the script will be saved with the provenance graph.


the directory where the provenance graph will be saved. If not provided, the directory specified by the prov.dir option is used. Otherwise the R session temporary directory is used.


if FALSE, includes a time stamp in the provenance graph directory name.


if TRUE, provenance is collected inside functions.


the first loop to collect provenance in a for, while, or repeat statement.


the maximum number of loops to collect provenance in a for, while, or repeat statement. If max.loops = -1, there is no limit. If max.loops = 0, no loops are annotated. If non-zero, it indicates the number of iterations of each loop for which provenance should be collected. If max.loops is non-zero, provenance is also collected inside if-statements.


the maximum size for snapshot files. If 0, no snapshot files are saved. If -1, the complete state of an object is stored in the snapshot file. For other values, the head of the object, truncated to a size near the specified limit, is saved. The size is in kilobytes.


the hash algorithm to use for files. Choices are md5 (default), sha1, crc32, sha256, sha512, xxhash32, xxhash64 and murmur32. This feature uses the digest function from the digest package.


If TRUE, debug files are saved to the debug directory. This is intended for developers of the RDataTracker package.


a function to run. If supplied, the function f is executed with calls to prov.init and so that provenance for the function is captured. Exactly one of f and r.script.path should be provided.


if TRUE, the provenance graph is displayed in DDG Explorer


RDataTracker is an R package that collects provenance as an R script executes. The resulting provenance provides a detailed record of the execution of the script and includes information on the steps that were performed and the intermediate data values that were created. The resulting provenance can be used for a wide variety of applications that include debugging scripts, cleaning code, and reproducing results.

There are two ways in which a user can collect provenance. To collect provenance from commands stored in a script file, use This will execute the commands that are in the script, collecting provenance as it does so.

The user can also collect provenance while executing commands in the console. To do this, first execute prov.init. Then enter console commands as normal. When done with the commands for which you want provenance, use prov.quit. If you want to save the current provenance without turning off provenance collection, call instead of prov.quit. You can call multiple times before calling prov.quit. Each call will append to the same provenance file.

The provenance is stored in PROV-JSON format. For immediate use it may be retrieved from memory using the prov.json function. For later use the provenance is also written to the file prov.json. This file and associated files are written by default to the R session temporary directory. The user can change this location by (1) using the optional parameter prov.dir in the or prov.init functions, or (2) setting the prov.dir option (e.g. by using the R options command or editing the or .Rprofile file). If prov.dir is set to ".", the current working directory is used.

The level of detail collected by RDataTracker may be set using parameters of the and prov.init functions. Options include collecting provenance inside functions and inside control constructs and saving snapshots of large intermediate values as separate files. These features are turned off by default to optimize performance. Common settings for the level of detail can also be set and managed using the prov.set.detail and related functions.


prov.init initializes the provenance collector. The prov.init function does not return a value. writes the current provenance to a file but does not return a value.

prov.quit writes the current provenance to a file but does not return a value. runs a script, collecting provenance as it does so. It does not return a value.

See Also

prov.json for access to the JSON text of the provenance, prov.display to view the provenance graphically. prov.set.detail to see an alternative way to set the amount of provenance collected. prov.annotate.on and to see how to control annotation of individual functions


## Not run: ("script.R")
prov.init ()
a <- 1
b <- 2 ()
ab <- a + b
prov.quit ()

End-to-end-provenance/rdt_test documentation built on May 13, 2019, 4:01 a.m.