Self-Index based on LZ77 (thesis)

Sebastian Kreft, Gonzalo Navarro

Domains like bioinformatics, version control systems, collaborative editing systems (wiki), and others, are producing huge data collections that are very repetitive. That is, there are few differences between the elements of the collection. This fact makes the compressibility of the collection extremely high. For example, a collection with all different versions of a Wikipedia article can be compressed up to the 0.1% of its original space, using the Lempel-Ziv 1977 (LZ77) compression scheme. Many of these repetitive collections handle huge amounts of text data. For that reason, we require a method to store them efficiently, while providing the ability to operate on them. The most common operations are the extraction of random portions of the collection and the search for all the occurrences of a given pattern inside the whole collection. A self-index is a data structure that stores a text in compressed form and allows to find the occurrences of a pattern efficiently. On the other hand, self-indexes can extract any substring of the collection, hence they are able to replace the original text. One of the main goals when using these indexes is to store them within main memory. In this thesis we present a scheme for random text extraction from text compressed with a Lempel-Ziv parsing. Additionally, we present a variant of LZ77, called LZ-End, that efficiently extracts text using space close to that of LZ77. The main contribution of this thesis is the first self-index based on LZ77/LZ-End and oriented to repetitive texts, which outperforms the state of the art (the RLCSA self-index) in many aspects. Finally, we present a corpus of repetitive texts, coming from several application domains. We aim at providing a standard set of texts for research and experimentation, hence this corpus is publicly available.

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