Automatic provenance collection describes systems that observe
processes and data transformations inferring, collecting, and
maintaining provenance about them. Automatic collection is a powerful
tool for analysis of ob jects and processes, providing a level of
and pervasiveness not found in more conventional provenance systems.
Unfortunately, automatic collection is also difficult. We discuss the
challenges we encountered and the issues we exposed as we developed an
automatic provenance collector that runs at the operating system level.