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Communications of the ACM

Communications of the ACM

Reducing dictionary size by using a hashing technique

Peterson [3] described a variety of techniques to implement a spelling checker for plain-language documents and discussed the central importance of the structure and size of the dictionary used by such a program. The technique presented here can produce a compact, easily accessed and modified dictionary. This is done by exploiting two characteristics of the spelling checker: the sole use of the dictionary is to determine whether given strings are, or are not, in the dictionary; and a small, but nonzero probability of error is acceptable in many applications. Many other types of programs have similar characteristics and could use this concept equally well.

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