Entropy-Based Approach in Selection Exact String-Matching Algorithms

Entropy (Basel). 2020 Dec 28;23(1):31. doi: 10.3390/e23010031.


The string-matching paradigm is applied in every computer science and science branch in general. The existence of a plethora of string-matching algorithms makes it hard to choose the best one for any particular case. Expressing, measuring, and testing algorithm efficiency is a challenging task with many potential pitfalls. Algorithm efficiency can be measured based on the usage of different resources. In software engineering, algorithmic productivity is a property of an algorithm execution identified with the computational resources the algorithm consumes. Resource usage in algorithm execution could be determined, and for maximum efficiency, the goal is to minimize resource usage. Guided by the fact that standard measures of algorithm efficiency, such as execution time, directly depend on the number of executed actions. Without touching the problematics of computer power consumption or memory, which also depends on the algorithm type and the techniques used in algorithm development, we have developed a methodology which enables the researchers to choose an efficient algorithm for a specific domain. String searching algorithms efficiency is usually observed independently from the domain texts being searched. This research paper aims to present the idea that algorithm efficiency depends on the properties of searched string and properties of the texts being searched, accompanied by the theoretical analysis of the proposed approach. In the proposed methodology, algorithm efficiency is expressed through character comparison count metrics. The character comparison count metrics is a formal quantitative measure independent of algorithm implementation subtleties and computer platform differences. The model is developed for a particular problem domain by using appropriate domain data (patterns and texts) and provides for a specific domain the ranking of algorithms according to the patterns' entropy. The proposed approach is limited to on-line exact string-matching problems based on information entropy for a search pattern. Meticulous empirical testing depicts the methodology implementation and purports soundness of the methodology.

Keywords: algorithm efficiency; algorithm performance; comparison; entropy; exact string-matching; testing framework.