Knowledge and Information Systems

, Volume 49, Issue 1, pp 121–141 | Cite as

An efficient pruning strategy for approximate string matching over suffix tree

  • Huan Hu
  • Hongzhi WangEmail author
  • Jianzhong Li
  • Hong Gao
Regular Paper


Approximate string matching over suffix tree with depth-first search (ASM_ST_DFS), a classical algorithm in the field of approximate string matching, was originally proposed by Ricardo A. Baeza-Yates and Gaston H. Gonnet in 1990. The algorithm is one of the most excellent algorithms for approximate string matching if combined with other indexing techniques. However, its time complexity is sensitive to the length of pattern string because it searches \(m+k\) characters on each path from the root before backtracking. In this paper, we propose an efficient pruning strategy to solve this problem. We prove its correctness and efficiency in theory. Particularly, we proved that if the pruning strategy is adopted, it averagely searches O(k) characters on each path before backtracking instead of O(m). Considering each internal node of suffix tree has multiple branches, the pruning strategy should work very well. We also experimentally show that when k is much smaller than m, the efficiency improves hundreds of times, and when k is not much smaller than m, it is still several times faster. This is the first paper that tries to solve the backtracking problem of ASM_ST_DFS in both theory and practice.


Approximate string matching Suffix tree Depth-first Backtracking Dynamic programming Bit-parallelism 



This paper was partially supported by NGFR 973 Grant 2012CB316200, NSFC Grant 61472099, 61133002 and National Sci-Tech Support Plan 2015BAH10F00. Partial Experiments are conducted on the Xing cloud of the DEKE Lab, Renmin University of China.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Computer Science and TechnologyHarbin Institute of TechnologyHarbinChina

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