Wednesday, February 13, 2008

CORD ORDER AND NUMBER OF KNOT CLUSTER SURVEY for the Cords listed in the AA Database (Corrected version)


This is the corrected version of the study I reported 2 weeks ago below, surveying the frequency of occurance of cords of varied cord order (1-4) and number of knot clusters (0-4+) present on each cord.

The entire report can be downloaded here.

The results of the investigation are tabulated in 6 tables presented here.

The main conclusions are:

While some 10% of the cords cataloged in the Ascher-Ascher database were listed as “broken” --not surprising given the centuries-old fiber material being studied – this fact does not seem to be overwhelming obstacle in identifying general trends in the data observed across the database. Further consideration of the presence of incomplete data as a result of “broken cords” needs to be taken as the database continues to mined for more specific data analysis.

Having surveyed the Ascher-Ascher database in terms of cord order and number of knot clusters present for each cord, it seems clear that the constituent Pendant Groups observed on the Khipus of this database are not arbitrary. Rather within them appear congregated cords of similar (cord order and knot cluster) characteristics. This lends support to the hypothesis that Pendant Groups with similar constituent cord characteristics contain similar kinds of information.

Perhaps the most surprising result of this survey has been the discovery that 60% of all pendant cords (1st order cords) and 80% of all subsidiary cords (cords of 2nd order and above) contain 0-1 knot clusters, thus nominally giving values of 0-10. Further, it was found that 50% of the 2301 Pendant Groups observed over the 219 Khipus are composed of cords with no more than 1 knot cluster present. Thus by this measure, 50% of all Pendant Groups in the AA database may contain _non-numerical_ (and certainly non-Lockean) information. One arrives at this conclusion by noting how tedious it would be to have so many records of less than 10 items across the database.

Suggestions for Further Study

Having made this survey, identifying the above trends, future work could focus in more closely on the characteristics of the knots (the presence/absence of S, L, P, E, D knots) making up the knot clusters considered in this study.

Further, one may begin to start grouping Pendant Groups with similar constituent cord characteristics (even and especially across several khipus) in hopes of “cracking” the grammar and information that such similar Pendant Groups together.



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