What is haathi all about?

Haathi is a provenance-enabled system that contains functions for collecting, storing, validating, and querying provenance. The digital provenance (DP) of a digital object gives a history of its creation, update, and access. It thus provides meta-level information of the sequence of events that lead up to the current version of the object, as well as its chain of custody.

To be practical, these functions must be secure, reliable, efficient, and usable. For example, if it is possible to tamper with (or inadvertently corrupt) the provenance, it can cause users to draw incorrect inferences about the authenticity or reliability of the underlying data, potentially with significant real-world consequences.

The main goals of the project are as listed below:

  • Ensure end-to-end security of provenance data (with respect to integrity, confidentiality, and privacy). This will be done by investigating the use of cryptographic as well as software protection techniques.
  • Allow for efficient storage and access of fine-grained and potentially large provenance data. This will be done by investigating the use of untrusted cloud storage servers.
  • Mitigate leakage of documents. This will be done by investigating the use of digital watermarking techniques.
  • Facilitate the work of auditors by investigating the design of a visual query system.
  • Assess the utility of the system by conducting several evaluation studies using a variety of users including students in undergraduate or graduate courses, and scientists collaborating on research projects


Supporting Grants and Contracts

  1. August 2011---August 2013, Mitigating Insider Attacks in Provenance Systems, National Science Foundation Grant CNS-1318955, $496,066, PI: Christian Collberg, co-PIs: Sudha Ram, Saumya K. Debray.
  2. October 2009---September 2013, Theoretical and Practical Approaches to Remote White-Box Security, United States--Israel Binational Science Foundation grant BSF-2008362, $90,684, PI: Amir Hertzberg (Bar Ilan University, Israel), co-PIs: Christian Collberg, Shafi Goldwasser (MIT and Weizmann Institute).

Why the name haathi?


Haathi in hindi means an elephant. An elephant has exceptional memory. As one of the main goals of the project is to maintain the history of changes in a document, the name haathi fits perfectly.