Shout and Act: an Algorithm for Digital Objects Preservation Inspired from Rescue Robots

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We adapt the Shout and Act algorithm to Digital Objects Preservation where agents explore file systems looking for digital objects to be preserved (victims). When they find something they “shout” so that agent mates can hear it. The louder the shout, the urgent or most important the finding is. Louder shouts can also refer to closeness. We perform several experiments to show that this system works very scalably, showing that heterogeneous teams of agents outperform homogeneous ones over a wide range of tasks complexity. The target at-risk documents are MS Office documents (including an RTF file) with Excel content or in Excel format. Thus, an interesting conclusion from the experiments is that fewer heterogeneous (varying skills) agents can equal the performance of many homogeneous (combined super-skilled) agents, implying significant performance increases with lower overall cost growth. Our results impact the design of Digital Objects Preservation teams: a properly designed combination of heterogeneous teams is cheaper and more scalable when confronted with uncertain maps of digital objects that need to be preserved. A cost pyramid is proposed for engineers to use for modeling the most effective agent combinations ​
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