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Project Number


Project Title

netKarma: GENI Provenance Registry

Technical Contacts

PI: Beth Plale Beth Plale
Chris Small

Participating Organizations

School of Informatics and Computing
Indiana University Bloomington

GPO Liaison System Engineer

Vic Thomas


The project collect and represents provenance for experiments conducted on the GENI platform. The provenance of an experiment is relevant information collected at experiment plane, control plane, and measurement plane. The provenance results will be available in a GENI Provenance Registry (netKarma) but can also be used to augment other collection mechanisms, for instance at the instrument level.

NetKarma is based on Karma, a provenance collection and representation service that has been used to collect provenance in diverse applications including satellite imagery pipeline (NASA funded), Linked Environments for Atmospheric Discovery (LEAD, NSF funded), and the Life Science Grid (Lilly Corp. funded).

Current Capabilities

The NetKarma Provenance Repository is an Axis2 Web service that resides on a server in the GENI Meta-Operations Center (GMOC), located at Indiana University. It has a WSDL access API so provenance can be retrieved programmatically. The persistent Axis2 web service is available at

The persistent Web Service provides both publish and query API to interact with the provenance repository to capture and browse provenance of GENI experiments. The current capabilities include the ingestion of provenance information from the Gush experiment control tool. The NetKarma project produced the GENI Adaptor software, which parses Gush log files to obtain provenance information. Further information about the GENI Adaptor software is available at With such capabilities, the persistent Web Service will enable GENI experimenters to capture data about experiments including: time ordering and relationships within the experiment, changes made between runs, and relationships between the experiment and control framework. The current capabilities also include the ability to query the persistent Karma Service for provenance of GENI experiment executions. In turn, this will enable GENI experimenters show such provenance information in visualization such as Google Earth View.

We Need Your Help! :: Give us your GUSH logs. We'll mine them for provenance data and drop the provenance into the netKarma provenance repository. You'll get a message back with information that you can use to query for the graph of your GUSH run. Submit through ( We're working on customizations to the cytoScape tool that you can download to visualize your provenance.

Planned capacities:

The project team is currently working to process logs from the Raven provisioning service to obtain provenance information. This new capability will enable GENI experimenters capture provenance information such as experiment node locations, time of deployment of software packages and versions of software deployed. The planned capabilities also include actively gathering information from the GMOC database. This will help the GENI experimenters relate the provenance on-the-fly to network measurements.

All this information will be accessible through the persistent axis2 Web service layer to the community. Because provenance collection captures details about the experiment, it raises issues of privacy that we address by giving the experimenter control of when collection occurs. Another planned capability is the visualization of the provenance graph generated from Gush experiment log files using the CytoScape visualization tool (


MilestoneDate(NETKARMA: S3.a Demonstration and Outreach at GEC9)?
MilestoneDate(NETKARMA: S3.b Plan for making provenance information available to experimenters)? Plan
MilestoneDate(NETKARMA: S3.c Demonstration and Outreach at GEC10)?
MilestoneDate(NETKARMA: S3.d Updated plan for making provenance information available to experimenters)? Updated Plan
MilestoneDate(NETKARMA: S3.e GEC11 demonstration and outreach)?
MilestoneDate(NETKARMA: S3.f Deliver software and documentation)? NetKarma_Milestone_S3-f.pdf

Project Technical Documents

NetKarma project page maintained by the Data to Insight Center

netKarma: a tool for obtaining a provenance-based record of experimentation (overview document)

Experience Report

User Guide

Description of the netKarma Prototype


Version 2.5 (released August 26, 2011)

NetKarma version 2.5 builds on the NetKarma Adaptor and NetKarma visualization plug-ins for Cytoscape to provide more detailed provenance data from the GUSH logs of experiments run on GENI slices. In addition to extracting more detailed provenance from GUSH logs, version 2.5 of the NetKarma plug-in includes richer annotations of the provenance visualized and is more configurable by the user - allowing greater flexibility in visualizing and comprehending the provenance of an experiment. Version 2.5 also includes the NetKarma GMOC Adaptor which automates the annotation of NetKarma provenance graphs with network data from GMOC.

Features Added in Version 2.5:

  • Enhancements to the NetKarma Adaptor used to process GUSH logs and ingest the provenance of GENI experiments run on GUSH into the NetKarma Provenance System.
  • Enhancements to the NetKarma Cytoscape plug-in for NetKarma that includes more detailed provenance and the addition of annotations to processes, artifacts, and the edges that connect the processes and artifacts in the OPM graphs generated using NetKarma. This version of the visualization plug-in also has increased configurability by the user as to the details displayed when visualizing provenance graphs.
  • The new NetKarma GMOC Adaptor is being released which extracts additional metadata from the GMOC database and annotates the GUSH provenance graphs with data from the GMOC database. This Adaptor is configured to run as a background process and automatically annotates the provenance ingested into NetKarma without any additional steps required by GENI users.

The NetKarma Provenance System and the NetKarma GMOC Adaptor are running as a persistent service on servers at Indiana University. This allows GENI users to process a GUSH log through the NetKarma Adaptor and visualize the resulting provenance graph, including the automated GMOC annotations, without having to install the NetKarma server. To try out the NetKarma provenance visualization, GENI users can process their own GUSH logs or the sample log file included with the NetKarma adaptor.

Downloads for v2.5

Version 2.0

Karma Adaptor is one of the collection tools that make up the Karma provenance collection toolkit to harvest provenance from log files. It uses a rule file specific to an application to map raw data into Karma specific provenance events. The provenance of the data is stored into a relational database which can be visualized through various plugins. The provenance data can be used by the researcher to analyze their data, allow for the suspension and resumption of an experiment and provide references to find the details and data collected in an experiment.

Downloads for v2.0

Code to allow capture of provenance from GUSH This code does not store events to the Karma system; it simply writes the provenance to a file that is then used to create a visual graph.

Presentations and posters

"GEC-10 Demo Handout.pdf" GEC10 Demonstration Slides
"GEC9_Poster_final.pdf" GEC9 poster
"GEC8_IU_NetKarma Poster8x11.pdf" GEC8 poster
"netKarma-update-20100720.pdf" GEC8 update
netkarma Presentation given at GEC7 Planetlab cluster meeting
GEC7 poster
GEC6 poster

Quarterly Status Reports

4Q09 Status Report
1Q10 Status Report
2Q10 Status Report
Post GEC9 Status Report
Post GEC10 Status Report

Spiral 2 Connectivity

This project will use existing Indiana University address and connections. No addition connectivity is needed as initial data sources are globably available on the Internet or over R&E networks.

Related Projects

Initial integration

ProvisioningService (Raven)

Possible future integration


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