Some Approaches to Best-Match File Searching

Walter A. Burkhard, University of California - San Diego
Robert M. Keller, Harvey Mudd College


The problem of searching the set of keys in a file to find a key which is closest to a given query key is discussed. After “closest,” in terms of a metric on the the key space, is suitably defined, three file structures are presented together with their corresponding search algorithms, which are intended to reduce the number of comparisons required to achieve the desired result. These methods are derived using certain inequalities satisfied by metrics and by graph-theoretic concepts. Some empirical results are presented which compare the efficiency of the methods.