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Re: VMs: RE Analysis of word dependency ...

Hi Chris,

RE Analysis of word dependency
                                  Couldn't strong dependency between
the final of the previous word and the initial of the next word also
indicate obfuscation of individual words by arbitrary insertion of
spaces -  lik et his (like this) ?

I've found a few examples where it looks as though a frequent letter-pair may have had an arbitrary space inserted (or moved around).

For example (...opens CopyFlo at random...), f15v line 2 has <or oro raiin>, which would seem far more likely to really be <or or or aiin>.

However, I think that if you build up a set of (say) 50-60 Currier-groups, you will find that adjacent-yet-split versions of these are very rare (I don't have a definitive list, sorry) - deciding whether these were put in for obfuscation or were merely scribal errors may require more data.

I think f15v line 2 is interesting, as writing <or or or raiin> instead might have made it obvious (to a code-breaker) that the text was structured in pairs... if this is indeed an example of the obfuscation you're talking about, then this does indeed point to an underlying pair structure.

You have to be careful with your logic here because if the underlying alphabet is largely expressed as a set of pairs, you may well get a large number of apparently structural artefacts, which are merely internal to the cipherbet itself. For example, if I were to build a VMS-like paired-glyph cipherbet of my own...

        a       <-->    ol
        b       <-->    dy
        c       <-->    of
        d       <-->    ok
        e       <-->    ee
        f       <-->    or
        g       <-->    on
        h       <-->    op

...then I might well end up with a large number of *apparent adjacency rules* which are actually alphabet-structural (ie aren't syntactic-structural and aren't semantic-structural). This is a very significant possibility here, so shouldn't be ignored lightly.

1. Assume that each pair of 'letters' in the VMS codes for a single
   deciphered letter, (please forgive me if the terminology is wrong)
   so letter 1 and 2 in the VMS gives the 1st decyphered letter,
   letter 2 and 3  in the VMS gives the 2nd deciphered letter etc..

Can I please ask you to output your Currier adjacency-matrix in a slightly different way?

If you were to normalise each table-entry value into a percentage, and then merge the two tables so that each pair of similar values is adjacent, ie something like...

a b c d
a 80/70 12/10 (%age without space / %age with space)
b 0/0 1/5

...it should make it much easier to see what's going on between the two tables. :-)

Thanks, .....Nick Pelling.....

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