Digital obsolescence

Loss of information describes the most undesirable loss of information during an information flow of a communication. This problem is concerned, the information theory in the communication of people to communicate science in technical communication. Information loss is possible with any type of communication, it is subject to different causes and effects.

It may also be due to technical processes (Information Management / Information transmission ) or explicit by manipulating arise (eg through control of information or sabotage).

  • 5.1 planning
  • 5.2 implementation


Loss of information can occur in several situations:

  • Losses in the transmission, for example by interruption of the communication link, a lack of compatibility or the overflow of the storage medium result in incomplete messages.
  • In principle related losses can occur by conversion between different formats coding for recording and reproduction of information. Example: finite resolution of the signal sampling (see Sampling theorem )
  • Errors in the decoding result in partial or complete loss of information at the receiver. Example: If the recipient does not have the ability to convert the information into a usable format for him, so it is useless for him.
  • The compression of data can lead to data loss. In information theory, a measure of the information content of the concept of lossless compressibility is defined, for example. (see entropy in the information-theoretic sense)
  • Process-related losses may in the processing of information auftreten.Beispiel: ( rounding error ) processing of numerical information with limited computational accuracy.
  • In physical systems, it can lead to loss of information about initial conditions and states come ( cf. entropy in the physical sense ).


Through information losses may incur to conflicts, such as technical defects and system failures.


Interpersonal communication

In interpersonal communication ( conversation and correspondence). During a conversation can lead to a wrong or not complete a Informationssverlust understanding through the application of a foreign language, a mispronunciation, incorrect articulation or by a differents sociolect. Thus a communication problem.

Example: Very often it comes in the game Chinese whispers loss of information.


In technology, information loss can occur when communicating machines or programs in the remote data transmission or data exchange in networks when they are interrupted ( connection failure or faulty operation ) or are transferred incorrectly (the problem of signal processing).


Information loss can occur, for example: In the

  • Telecommunications at the abrupt termination of the communication link or
  • Data processing when files have not been backed up (see data loss)
  • Sabotage


  • Technical defect, such as a power failure
  • Human error, such as misunderstanding
  • Chain reaction



  • Predictability
  • Risk assessment
  • Control structure


  • Control mechanisms such as quality assurance measures
  • Optimization
  • Design and control of workflow management


A large amount of information was in the cultural history often lost when the end of eras. In addition to the phenomenon of social, cultural and religious especially scientific achievements were lost. The more information has been accumulated, the more was lost in the decline. Especially a lot of information can be seen in the collapse of civilizations. An example of this are the achievements of the ancient world, which, after its end in Western Europe first for many centuries, little attention has been paid more and could be. The culture in medieval Europe was moving after a longer time at a lower level, although the ancient heritage was never completely lost, and could be largely preserved in Byzantium.

Information will be removed or negated in the transculturation.