Matchsimile: A Flexible Approximate Matching Tool for Searching Proper Names

Gonzalo Navarro, Ricardo Baeza-Yates and Joćo Marcelo Arcoverde

We present the architecture and algorithms behind Matchsimile, an approximate string matching lookup tool especially designed for extracting person and company names from large texts. Part of a larger information extraction environment, this specific engine receives a large set of proper names to search for, a text to search, and search options; and outputs all the occurrences of the names found in the text. Beyond the similarity search capabilities applied at the intraword level, the tool considers a set of specific person name formation rules at the word level, such as combination, abbreviation, duplicity detections, ordering, word omission and insertion, among others. This engine is used in a succeeded commercial application (also named Matchsimile), which allows searching for lawyer names in official law publications.