Stony Brook Algorithm Repository

Approximate String Matching


Input Description: A text string \(t\) and a pattern string \(p\). An edit cost bound \(k\).
Problem: Does there exist an alignment between \(t\) and \(p\) with edit cost at most \(k\), ie. can we transform part of \(t\) to \(p\) using at most \(k\) additions, deletions, and substitutions.

Excerpt from The Algorithm Design Manual: Approximate string matching is fundamental to text processing, because we live in an error-prone world. Any spelling correction program must be able to identify the closest match for any text string not found in a dictionary. Genbank has become a fundamental tool for molecular biology by supporting homology (similarity) searches on DNA sequences. Suppose you were to sequence a new gene in man, and you discovered that it is similar to the hemoglobin gene in rats. It is likely that this new gene also produces hemoglobin, and any differences are the result of genetic mutations during evolution.


TRE (rating 9)
fuzzywuzzy (rating 8)
agrep (rating 7)
matchr (rating 7)
amatch (rating 7)
HT/DIG (rating 5)
Handbook of Algorithms and Data Structures (rating 2)

Recommended Books

The Art of Computer Programming : Sorting and Searching by Donald Knuth Algorithms on Strings, Trees, and Sequences by Dan Gusfield Practical Algorithms for Programmers by A. Binstock and J. Rex
Text Algorithms by M. Crochemore and W. Rytter Handbook of Algorithms and Data Structures by G. Gonnet and R. Baeza-Yates Introduction to Algorithms by T. Cormen and C. Leiserson and R. Rivest and C. Stein
Introduction to Algorithms by U. Manber Computer Algorithms by S. Baase Time Warps, String Edits, and Macromolecules: the theoryand practice of sequence comparison by D. Sankoff and J. Kruskal

Related Problems

Longest Common Substring/Subsequence

String Matching

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