Digital Preservation


Pursuant to the three goals of the Digital Preservation research, that will be reported here in this dissertation is the discussion of the first step, of going from “its to Bits” or the digitalization of objects. The second is developing a robust independent digital data structures for long term digital preservation of the digitized objects. The third is its pragmatic application and implementation of a Digital Preservation System. Also discussed is the procedural method used in the proposed Digital Preservation System called Constructive Modeling. It is based on so called Function Representation of an object that is said here to be a point wise n-dimensional, multi media, hyper volume, representation of dynamic objects of mixed materials. Include is a discussion of the transformation of unique forms and functions from the tangible "its" of each of the original wooden parts of a unique complex temple to the intangible "bits" of digital objects, that precisely represent each of the parts form and its functions requiring the use of commonly shared, robust, independent digital data structure to avoid the problems of obsolescence. The applied preservation research has lead to the realization that for reasons based on technical obsolescence and on the physicality of digital materials or the lack thereof, the solutions of long term digital preservation to be realized must include an ethical license agreement. Thus an ethical agreement was created called Common Good Public License CGPL agreement (CGPL). Pragmatically the CGPL agreement a philosophical framework, in accordance to the ethics of CGPL was needed. It as well as CGPL is is based on the first principles of digital materials and processes and formulated on they way they behave as such the philosophical framework is called the digital way or Digitdo. Also considered as well is a unique organic organizational structure called Organis, that is accordance and coherent to the use of the ethics embodied in the CGPL and is the implementation of the philosophical framework of Digitdo. However philosophical and sociological issues are only be touched upon briefly here due to the largess and pejorative nature of these topics. Accordingly the "its" to "bits" methodology called Constructive Modeling, that at first begin with the use of Constructive Solid Geometric (CSG) is the first goal and focus of the research is demonstrated. Also demonstrated is the data migration of a geometric CSG represented object to an F-rep object, which is the result of the second goal of digital preservation, that is the seeking the long term existence of digital digital objects. A Progress report on the third goal of the research which is the pragmatic application of the digital preservation of cultural heritage objects in the Aizu basin region of Japan is presented and discussed.

Key words: Digital materials, Digital materialism, Organis, Digital Arts, Virtual Networked Organizations, self organizing, law of increasing or accelerating returns, Cellular automta, Constructive Synthetic Modeling, Function Representation, Constructive Solid Geometric, HyperFun, personal fabrication, neural plasticity, digital psychology, digital sociology, digital philosophy, digital ethics, Common Good Public License, singularity, quantum states, synergy, universal assemblers


The long term digital preservation research is the subject of this dissertation; in the pursuit of a Doctor of Philosophy in Applied Computer Science. The applied research is a "hands on" type of approach based on the practice of the arts of the applied and theoretical sciences in one place and time as it may have been practiced during the Renaissance period of history. A high level of literacy in the use and mastery of digital devices and the artful and skillfully manipulation of digital materials and processes for the creation of digital objects that is inclusive of any or all of “the arts” such as in the practice of architecture, manufacturing engineering, materials and process engineering as required in this research, which here taken together and is called the Digital Arts. The practice of the Digital Arts is held here to be a prerequisite to being able to evaluate, understand and preform “by hand” so to speak on an experimental basis the transformation of the size and shape of each of a large existent object's parts, that taken as a whole contains the objects logical structure and form, into a compress form of binary existence as ones and zeros resented by digital materials and process. A compress form of that theoretically could not only exist forever and be accessed virtually in a synthetic format by digital devices, but be decompress into its original form of existence on demand.

It is here argued, that continuation of applied research in the digital preservation of culture heritage objects as demonstrated in this dissertation, by the continued practice of digital arts using Constructive Modeling methodology based on an F-Rep preservation language under a rigorous scientific frame work is forming the basic technological foundations for the implementation of John von Neumann (1952) concept of universal assemblers and disassemblers. The concept is the idea of moving objects freely between both the natural world of the tangible atomic "its" and the intangible binary "bits" of synthetic worlds. The materialistic digitization transformation concept of “its” to “bits” when combined with concept of a universal digital preservation system characterized by adaptation, redundancy, healing, and migration by infection offers a new and eternal form of dimensional less existence in digital space will give rise to the emergence a unique sociological foundations as well. Thus It will be only briefly argued here, that by common reason, that even now with the haphazard creation and existence of the emergent forms of digital data structures in the almost infinite dimensions of digital space, as provided by the use of digital material and processes has given rise to the emergence of a coherent axis of digital ethics, philosophy and social structures sustainable a vortex of digital evolution and knowledge as exemplified by the Linux project. Thus it is held that the optimistic acts of digital preservation presented in this dissertation will be of value in the foreseeable future and beyond.

While the origins for this digital preservation research in lay in seminal studies of physical systems by Leo Szilard introducing the bit as a unit of information about the location of a gas molecule (1929), Claude Shannon showing that encoding information digitally can create a threshold allowing for perfect communication over a noisy channel (1948), by John von Neumann (1952), and Shmuel Winograd and Jack Cowan (1963), extending this result to prove that reliable digital computation can be done by unreliable analog components, and by John von Neumann (1957) on self-reproducing machines. The origins for the research critical to the digital representation of physical objects both fixed and dynamic are found in the sentinel works by A. Pasko and V. Adzhiev (2004) on Function-based shape modeling the mathematical framework and specialized language of Function Representation (or F-rep) that can be used to define the geometric, volumetric and physical properties of an object by a single real continuous function of point coordinates as F(X) >= 0. Thus providing a common method for the mathematical description of static or dynamic objects of mixed materials based on continuous functions that can said , to have n-ary number dimensions and attributes were F(x1, x2, x3, ..., xn) >= 0 limited only by computational resources available. Thus any dynamic or physical aspect of our current understanding of natural object can be digital represented by using F-rep and be understood into the foreseeable future and beyond.

However perhaps the most important provocative underlying principle to achieving long term digital preservation is that computational equivalence can be found in nature or that is to say nature can compute. Provocative or not their have been many indications that this is could be true such as Fibonacci number series, The Mandelbrot and Julia Fractal Sets, Lindenmayer Systems, the recently discovered Super Function created by a biologist from his observations of nature not a mathematician, that can generate any shape that exists. If nature can compute, therefore it would follow that nature can also be represented and understood by using the language of computation, an insight that was pioneered by Rolf Landauer's (1961) explanation of the origin of physical dissipation in logical erasure ; The paradigm that information is physical, were the erasure of one bit of information always increases the thermal dynamical entropy of the world by k in 2. This is a bridge to underlying the theory of information science and perhaps to understanding the concepts concerning the unique intangible existence digital materials and processes and the underlying first principles concerning their use and the pragmatic requirement for the ethical agreement of the Common Good Public license in this research. Thus recent scientific findings stemming from the use of computational language to investigate the nature of complexity; were simple rules of physicality rely on synthetic simulation for complex predictions, that maybe seen as the inverse of the science method, were complex concepts are shown to be true by physical proof. Thus computational intense studies on chaos and the wider issues of complexity of import to this research have demonstrated, that the dissipation of energy creates order from chaos and the confirmation, that nature can compute is demonstrated by a simple Cellular Atuomta Rule number 110, which gives rise to complexity from arbitrary input; thus setting forth the Principle of Computational Equivalence by Wolfram, S. (2002), that is to say nature's simple rules can compute and nature's computations produce self emergent complex programs of exponential evolutionary growth as explained by Law of Accelerating Returns by Ray Kurzweil ( 2001). The result of which is self organizing, self replicating biological sentient entities that are implicitly exploiting non biological and biological entities as computational enhanced tools to created a digital vortex [xx] of scientific knowledge and resulting in even a faster rate of evolutionary computational growth. John Archibald Wheeler (1989) described the aim of understanding nature or nature understanding its self as using the language of computation to go from "it from bit," meaning that the natural world is most fundamentally understood and inclusively understands its self as a manifestation of digital information. This work serves as a provocative underlying philosophical principle; in the quest to digitally preserve the local Aizu temples through applied research by the practice of the digital arts, first by meeting the research goals of equivalence between the tangible atoms of the natural "its" and the intangible binary existence of digital "bits"and thus opens the way for the possibilities of the temples eternal existence meeting the secondary goal of long term digital preservation. Thus digital preservation using Constructive Modeling can be understood as the abstraction and application of logical descriptions of the construction and functions of physical objects. This effort starts with studies of transduction at the interface between digital and physical systems [7], includes investigation of quantum [8] and classical [9] mechanisms for manipulating information, and encompasses the development of generalized principles for organizing these resources into scalable [10], "fungible" [11] systems based on the architectural F-rep [xx] data structures. Ultimately, these activities are leading towards a design practice for Avogadro - scale engineering that can bring rigor to the Constructive Modeling of enormously complex systems requiring only an implicit F-rep objects providing specifications for their volumetric configuration shape and Function. [12]. The planned development for making a real time interactive constructive modeling system [xx] by Turlif Vilbrandt (xxxx) and language for digital preservation extends early work on the primitive HyperFun language and program based on F-rep by pasko, (xxxx).

In the opposite direction of "it to bit" is one of the challenging goals of Massachusetts Institute of Technology`s (MIT) Center for Bits to Atoms (CBA) is quite literally seeking to realize von Neumann's vision of a universal assembler. Analogous to von Neuman`s earlier results in communications and computation, if logic can be introduced into the process of physical assembly then perfect macroscopic structures could be built out of imperfect microscopic parts. Biological proteins are in fact produced in exactly this way, by programs run by cellular molecular machinery; CBA researchers have shown how nanocluster antennae can be attached to these proteins in order to provide for radiofrequency control over cellular signaling pathways [5]. This promises to create a "digital" technology for molecular manufacturing, with implications for atoms as profound as they have been for bits. And just as personal computers made the capabilities of mainframes accessible to ordinary people, CBA researchers are now doing the same with industrial machine tools, developing means for "personal fabrication" that will bring the programmability of the digital world to the rest of the world [6].

CBA was founded by Profs. Isaac Chuang, Neil Gershenfeld, Joseph Jacobson, and Scott Manalis, with Marvin Minsky. It was launched by a National Science Foundation award in 2001 [1] that is supporting the creation of a unique shared experimental resource that enables the creation of form and function across nine orders of magnitude in length scales [2], as well as an associated intellectual community drawn from across MIT's campus [3] spanning the historical divisions that have emerged between the study of computer science and physical science, and between the development of software and hardware. CBA's government funding is complemented by corporate sponsorship for technology development and transfer [4].

The academic home for CBA is the MAS Program (Media Arts and Sciences), directed by William Mitchell, broadly encompassing the study of design across intellectual and physical scales [14]. Along with teaching and research, CBA outreach activities include meetings and events run with partner institutions [15], a growing network of field "fab labs" that are bringing tools for technological design and production to remote parts of the world that have been beyond the reach of conventional technical solutions [16], and industrial coordination such as the "Internet 0" initiative that is extending the Internet "endtoend" principle of internetworking all the way down to the device level [17].

It is important to note that the Computer Arts Lab (CAL) of the University of Aizu, that has become a part of the CBA`s "bits to it" personal fabrication ( Fab Lab ) applied research efforts at the personal invitation of Neil Gershenfeld. The preservation research on a real time interactive digital preservation constructive modeling system to allow a user of the CBA`s personal fabrication system to create and or modify synthetic digital objects is perhaps one of core elements needed in CBA`s quest to create a universal assembler system.

The preservation research is the result of an ambitious interdisciplinary Digital Arts project in support of the Aizu History project by Jan and Jim Goodwin ( ), that  is looking beyond the end of the current Digital Age and the beginning of the Quantum Age stemming from the discovery's of Schrödinger , (1926) to the Age of Singularities described by Vernor Vinge, (1986) to ask how Function Representation (F-rep) works of by A. Pasko et, al. (2000) can be use to create a system that functionally defines dynamic objects and their environmental settings so that they can be embodied in, abstracted from, their physical form and digitally archived in a system designed as an active yet secure digital repository for the millenniums of post human [ ] history yet to come. The results of research demonstrates the transformation of form and function from the tangible "its" of each of the original wooden parts forming the unique temple of Sazido in the Aizu eyes region of Japan that was a virtual pilgrimage[xx] of its time to the intangible "bits" of digital objects that mathematically, with the use of F-rep precisely define and archive each of the wooden parts and their functionally in such an intangible digido that the individual parts and the virtual temple of Sazido could be said to have the possibility of eternal life.

These simple, profound questions date back to the beginning of modern manufacturing, before that to "The Arts" of the Renaissance [xx] and their origins can be found in the study of natural science of the Grecian philosopher Name and (date); now they have new revolutionary implications following from the recognition of the computational universality of physical systems as shown by Principle of Computational Equivalence by Wolfram, S. (2002). [18] Thus in this the Digital Age [xx] it is no longer afford to ignore nature's capabilities that have been neglected by conventional digital logic; it is at the boundary between the physical and its digital representation of static and dynamic objects of mix materials that many of science's greatest technological, economic, social opportunities and obstacles lie.

Advances in scientific research are now dependent on the use digital materials and process; for it has become the scientific slide rule by which most measurements and calculations are made. Measurements that nature is now being defined. Thus "Digital" is now perhaps the supreme technological entity of influence in the pantheism of scientific research.[xx] With that said it needs to be noted that digital materials and processes are now already being augmented by and in the future will be replace by Quantum materials and processes [xx] and nature maybe seen in future through other technological view points.

A. Pasko and V. Adzhiev, "Function-based shape modeling: mathematical framework and specialized language", Automated Deduction in Geometry, Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence 2930, Ed. F. Winkler, Springer-Verlag, Berlin Heidelberg, 2004, pp. 132-160. Electronic version: PDF (847K)