Environment: Straight C++
A challenge I’ve seen pop up often while writing search tools is the ability to
verify that your code is not traversing the same source multiple times. A spider
traversing the web, for example, would never wish to traverse the same URL twice
in a session – to do so would merely allow circular loops and endless headaches.
To address this issue, I wrote an N-tree based search algorithm that breaks strings
down by their leading characters. Identical portions are ‘clipped’ and stored in a
single node, with the remainder of the string in similarly divided child nodes.
Inserting the following text:
Results in this data structure
The advantage to this approach over typical linear searches is two-fold.
- The memory overhead can be reduced as redundant text is partially eliminated
- Since the tree is ordered, a search can be performed in O(Log(N)) time (someone please correct me if my estimate of this algorithm is incorrect!)
On a 600 MHz PIII system, the following benchmarks were obtained for inserting 3000 random strings of length 0-254 characters into an array that already contains 12,000 strings.
Linear search: 2.7 seconds StringTree: 0.02 seconds
A reasonable improvement!
The attached code implements the algorithm as a CStringTree class, and provides a test / performance driver to demo the code.
Changes to current source (zip file below):
- Fixed several small memory leaks
- Added significant functionality for searching and File / CStringArray I/O
- Compiler defs for Borland compilers
- String counting and data association per node