A Guided Tour to Approximate String Matching

Gonzalo Navarro

We survey the current techniques to cope with the problem of string matching allowing errors. This is becoming a more and more relevant issue for many fast growing areas such as information retrieval and computational biology. We focus on online searching, explaining the problem and its relevance, its statistical behavior, its history and current developments, and the central ideas of the algorithms and their complexities. We present a number of experiments to compare the performance of the different algorithms and show which are the best choices according to each case. We conclude with some future work directions and open problems.