Cycle detection and correction

Amihood Amir, Estrella Eisenberg, Avivit Levy, Ely Porat, Natalie Shapira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Assume that a natural cyclic phenomenon has been measured, but the data is corrupted by errors. The type of corruption is application-dependent and may be caused by measurements errors, or natural features of the phenomenon. We assume that an appropriate metric exists, which measures the amount of corruption experienced. This article studies the problem of recovering the correct cycle from data corrupted by various error models, formally defined as the period recovery problem. Specifically, we define a metric property which we call pseudolocality and study the period recovery problem under pseudolocal metrics. Examples of pseudolocal metrics are the Hamming distance, the swap distance, and the interchange (or Cayley) distance. We show that for pseudolocal metrics, periodicity is a powerful property allowing detecting the original cycle and correcting the data, under suitable conditions. Some surprising features of our algorithm are that we can efficiently identify the period in the corrupted data, up to a number of possibilities logarithmic in the length of the data string, even for metrics whose calculation is N P-hard. For the Hamming metric, we can reconstruct the corrupted data in near-linear time even for unbounded alphabets. This result is achieved using the property of separation in the self-convolution vector and Reed-Solomon codes. Finally, we employ our techniques beyond the scope of pseudo-local metrics and give a recovery algorithm for the non-pseudolocal Levenshtein edit metric.

Original languageEnglish
Article number13
JournalACM Transactions on Algorithms
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2012


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