About the Author

Dr.-Ing. Michael Hartle is offering his capacity as software architect and IT consultant at Hartle & Klug Consulting GmbH.

In a previous life, he was both area head of the Ambient Learning & Knowledge Work (ALKW) area and coordinator of the Reliable Basic Support (RBG) group as part of the Telecooperation research group and worked at the e-learning center at the Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany.

His PhD thesis is on Bitstream Segment Graphs (BSGs) as a formal, declarative approach capable of describing arbitrary data formats.

Describing Data Format Instances using the Bitstream Segment Graph (BSG)


Storage and exchange of digital information strongly depends on the data format that defines the syntax and semantics of format-compliant data. Loosing applicable data format knowledge can render digital information inaccessible:

If we could delegate the problem of identifying the composition of data according to some arbitrary data format to machines, this would solve aspects of these problems - yet, how to describe a data format in a declarative, machine-processible manner? This requires formal means to describe syntax and semantics of a data format instance (such as a bit sequence) as well as a data format, which is a (potentially infinite) set of such instances.


I present two contributions for describing data formats, the Bitstream Segment Graph (BSG) model for describing the composition of data, and the BSG Reasoning approach for describing the composition of (potentially infinite) sets of data:


These contributions have applications in different domains such as Digital Preservation and IT Security:

Related Publications


Journal Article

Conference Papers