Provenance Protocol

A method for VisIt to convey provenance information is currently in progress. A summary of the communication mechanism between VisIt and a third party provenance application is available here.


VisIt communicates provenance information via network sockets. The provenance application is expected to listen on a socket. VisIt will connect to that socket and then inform the provenance application of any state changes. The provenance application can send state change requests over that same socket.

Users must give VisIt the "--provenance <port>" command line option when starting VisIt, where <port> is the port number.

A basic message is a newline+NUL terminated string. All communications are currently synchronous.

Defined Messages

A series of messages are currently defined. Applications should not consider these messages case-sensitive.

  • quit -- Sent by either VisIt or the provenance application. Informs the other end that the sender is shutting down. Abrupt socket termination should be considered an implicit quit.
  • reset -- Tell the remote end that the sender has reset internal state back to the initial state, as if the application has just started up. The receiver should reinitialize its state accordingly. For VisIt, this means deleting all plots and operators, closing open files, etc.