Home Restoration decisions A decision-making model: the decision tree

A decision-making model: the decision tree


Choosing among the various conservation strategies is made easier through a series of questions that can be answered using a decision tree developed by the DOCAM Conservation and Preservation Committee.


The decision tree is a restoration tool that allows stakeholders to identify the problems and potential solutions associated with preserving works that incorporate technological components. The tool facilitates decision making by helping users focus on the aspects of a work that relate to its integrity and authenticity while reflecting on how these aspects are impacted by the work’s technological components.


The decision tree is applied to issues that define the role played by the technological component as an element of the work’s meaning. Is the equipment visible? Does it have a particular significance? What is the artist’s point of view? The answers to these and other questions help stakeholders identify the best restoration option from those outlined in the two first sections of this best practices guide (emulation, migration, storage and reinterpretation).


The decision tree is a tool that has been developed using FreeMind open source software. FreeMind allows users to intuitively view a hierarchy or plan. The decisional tree presents a series of questions that the user is asked to answer. Usually, the user is asked to choose between two situations by clicking on the one that best corresponds to the problem under study. After the series of questions has been answered, the decision tree, now deployed, indicates a preservation strategy that addresses the specific case being analyzed.


*Screenshot of the horizontal deployment of the decision tree using FreeMind


Although the tree is part of this Web site, we prefer to use it in its original environment, which is more intuitive and visually more user-friendly with its horizontal layout. For best results, we recommend that you download the decision tree file and the software required to read it.

FreeMind can be downloaded for Mac, Windows or Linux here:


The decision tree file can be downloaded here: