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Communications of the ACM

Communications of the ACM

Data compression with finite windows

Several methods are presented for adaptive, invertible data compression in the style of Lempel's and Ziv's first textual substitution proposal. For the first two methods, the article describes modifications of McCreight's suffix tree data structure that support cyclic maintenance of a window on the most recent source characters. A percolating update is used to keep node positions within the window, and the updating process is shown to have constant amortized cost. Other methods explore the tradeoffs between compression time, expansion time, data structure size, and amount of compression achieved. The article includes a graph-theoretic analysis of the compression penalty incurred by our codeword selection policy in comparison with an optimal policy, and it includes empirical studies of the performance of various adaptive compressors from the literature.

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