Lempel-Ziv-like Parsing in Small Space

Daniel Valenzuela, Dmitry Kosolobov, Gonzalo Navarro, and Simon J. Puglisi

Lempel-Ziv (LZ77 or, briefly, LZ) is one of the most effective and widely-used compressors for repetitive texts. However, the existing efficient methods computing the exact LZ parsing have to use linear or close to linear space to index the input text during the construction of the parsing, which is prohibitive for long inputs. An alternative is Relative Lempel-Ziv (RLZ), which indexes only a fixed reference sequence, whose size can be controlled. Deriving the reference sequence by sampling the text yields reasonable compression ratios for RLZ, but performance is not always competitive with that of LZ and depends heavily on the similarity of the reference to the text. In this paper we introduce ReLZ, a technique that uses RLZ as a preprocessor to approximate the LZ parsing using little memory. RLZ is first used to produce a sequence of phrases, and these are regarded as metasymbols that are input to LZ for a second-level parsing on a (most often) drastically shorter sequence. This parsing is finally translated into one on the original sequence. We analyze the new scheme and prove that, like LZ, it achieves the kth order empirical entropy compression n H_k + o(n log s) with k = o(log_s n), where n is the input length and s is the alphabet size. In fact, we prove this entropy bound not only for ReLZ but for a wide class of LZ-like encodings. Then, we establish a lower bound on ReLZ approximation ratio showing that the number of phrases in it can be Omega(log n) times larger than the number of phrases in LZ. Our experiments show that ReLZ is orders of magnitude faster than other alternatives to compute the (exact or approximate) LZ parsing, at the reasonable price of an approximation factor below 2.0 in practice, and sometimes below 1.05, to the size of LZ.