TY - JOUR

T1 - Approximate cover of strings

AU - Amir, A.

AU - Levy, A.

AU - Lubin, R.

AU - Porat, E.

N1 - Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier B.V.

PY - 2019/11/12

Y1 - 2019/11/12

N2 - Regularities in strings arise in various areas of science, including coding and automata theory, formal language theory, combinatorics, molecular biology and many others. A common notion to describe regularity in a string T is a cover, which is a string C for which every letter of T lies within some occurrence of C. The alignment of the cover repetitions in the given text is called a tiling. In many applications finding exact repetitions is not sufficient, due to the presence of errors. In this paper, we use a new approach for handling errors in coverable phenomena and define the approximate cover problem (ACP), in which we are given a text that is a sequence of some cover repetitions with possible mismatch errors, and we seek a string that covers the text with the minimum number of errors. We first show that the ACP is NP-hard, by studying the cover-length relaxation of the ACP, in which the requested length of the approximate cover is also given with the input string. We show that this relaxation is already NP-hard. We also study another two relaxations of the ACP, which we call the partial-tiling relaxation of the ACP and the full-tiling relaxation of the ACP, in which a tiling of the requested cover is also given with the input string. A given full tiling retains all the occurrences of the cover before the errors, while in a partial tiling there can be additional occurrences of the cover that are not marked by the tiling. We show that the partial-tiling relaxation has a polynomial time complexity and give experimental evidence that the full-tiling also has polynomial time complexity. The study of these relaxations, besides shedding another light on the complexity of the ACP, also involves a deep understanding of the properties of covers, yielding some key lemmas and observations that may be helpful for a future study of regularities in the presence of errors.

AB - Regularities in strings arise in various areas of science, including coding and automata theory, formal language theory, combinatorics, molecular biology and many others. A common notion to describe regularity in a string T is a cover, which is a string C for which every letter of T lies within some occurrence of C. The alignment of the cover repetitions in the given text is called a tiling. In many applications finding exact repetitions is not sufficient, due to the presence of errors. In this paper, we use a new approach for handling errors in coverable phenomena and define the approximate cover problem (ACP), in which we are given a text that is a sequence of some cover repetitions with possible mismatch errors, and we seek a string that covers the text with the minimum number of errors. We first show that the ACP is NP-hard, by studying the cover-length relaxation of the ACP, in which the requested length of the approximate cover is also given with the input string. We show that this relaxation is already NP-hard. We also study another two relaxations of the ACP, which we call the partial-tiling relaxation of the ACP and the full-tiling relaxation of the ACP, in which a tiling of the requested cover is also given with the input string. A given full tiling retains all the occurrences of the cover before the errors, while in a partial tiling there can be additional occurrences of the cover that are not marked by the tiling. We show that the partial-tiling relaxation has a polynomial time complexity and give experimental evidence that the full-tiling also has polynomial time complexity. The study of these relaxations, besides shedding another light on the complexity of the ACP, also involves a deep understanding of the properties of covers, yielding some key lemmas and observations that may be helpful for a future study of regularities in the presence of errors.

KW - Approximate cover

KW - Cover

KW - Periodicity

KW - Quasi-periodicity

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85066249961&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.tcs.2019.05.020

DO - 10.1016/j.tcs.2019.05.020

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AN - SCOPUS:85066249961

SN - 0304-3975

VL - 793

SP - 59

EP - 69

JO - Theoretical Computer Science

JF - Theoretical Computer Science

ER -