Approximate string matching: A simpler faster algorithm

Richard Cole, Ramesh Hariharan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We give two algorithms for finding all approximate matches of a pattern in a text, where the edit distance between the pattern and the matching text substring is at most k. The first algorithm, which is quite simple, runs in time O(nk3/m + n + m) on all patterns except k-break periodic strings (defined later). The second algorithm runs in time O(nk4/m + n + m) on k-break periodic patterns. The two classes of patterns are easily distinguished in O(m) time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1761-1782
Number of pages22
JournalSIAM Journal on Computing
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 2002


  • Algorithms
  • Edit distance
  • String matching

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science
  • General Mathematics


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