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To permit further growth in the application of information systems, the lower level activities must be automated so that they cease to be a burden on the user. A synthesis of known hardware devices and software algorithms for dynamic storage allocation is advocated which can achieve acceptable efficiency at run time by using the explicitly defined data structure as a basis for store management and the prediction of store usage. The resultant automated storage complex also provides security against the propagation of consequential software failures. Consideration of the function of the individual storage devices which would be components of such a storage complex leads to some conclusions which may be useful for guiding the development of advanced storage devices.