Constant factor approximations to edit distance on far input pairs in nearly linear time

Michal Koucký, Michael Saks

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

32 Scopus citations


For any T ≥ 1, there are constants R=R(T) ≥ 1 and ζ=ζ(T)>0 and a randomized algorithm that takes as input an integer n and two strings x,y of length at most n, and runs in time O(n1+1/T) and outputs an upper bound U on the edit distance of edit(x,y) that with high probability, satisfies U ≤ R(edit(x,y)+n1-ζ). In particular, on any input with edit(x,y) ≥ n1-ζ the algorithm outputs a constant factor approximation with high probability. A similar result has been proven independently by Brakensiek and Rubinstein (this proceedings).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSTOC 2020 - Proceedings of the 52nd Annual ACM SIGACT Symposium on Theory of Computing
EditorsKonstantin Makarychev, Yury Makarychev, Madhur Tulsiani, Gautam Kamath, Julia Chuzhoy
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781450369794
StatePublished - Jun 8 2020
Event52nd Annual ACM SIGACT Symposium on Theory of Computing, STOC 2020 - Chicago, United States
Duration: Jun 22 2020Jun 26 2020

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Annual ACM Symposium on Theory of Computing
ISSN (Print)0737-8017


Conference52nd Annual ACM SIGACT Symposium on Theory of Computing, STOC 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited States

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software


  • Almost linear-time algorithm
  • Approximation algorithm
  • Edit distance
  • Randomized algorithm

Cite this