Longest common subsequence
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Although theLongest Common Subsequence (LCS)Problem has been studied by many researchers for years, heuristic methods have not been investigated before. In this paper we present a simple heuristic which guarantees to return a common subsequence of length at least 1/s that of the longest wheres is the number of different symbols in the input strings. Furthermore, we generalize the idea to several classes of heuristic algorithms. Surprisingly, we find that no other heuristic in these classes outperforms this simple algorithm. In other words, we show that any heuristic which uses only global information, such as number of symbol occurrences, might return a common subsequence as short as 1/s of the length of the longest. Analysis of the average performance of the simple heuristic fors=2 is also presented.
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