Using Utility Analysis to Evaluate and Compare Preservation Strategies

Andreas Rauber

Long-term preservation solutions become critical as an increasing amount of information is being digitized or directly created and thus existing only in electronic form.
While different approaches, such as Emulation, Migration, or Computer Museums, are being proposed as solutions to this challenge, neither of them excels in all circumstances. Selection of the most appropriate strategy and tools becomes a non-trivial task.

In this talk we present an adapted version of Utility Analysis, which can be applied to selecting the optimal preservation solution for each individual situation. This analysis method, which is usually applied in infrastructure projects, such as highways, airports, or city district development, is here used to combine the wide range of requirements, which are to be considered in order to select a suitable preservation strategy.
Additionally, we present a framework for identifying and defining the criteria influencing the choice of a particular preservation solution, such as a specific migration tool.
The evaluation metric is explained theoretically and demonstrated via case-studies performed for different application domains.