stringdist: Compute distance metrics between strings

Description Usage Arguments Value See Also Examples

View source: R/stringdist.R

Description

stringdist computes pairwise string distances between elements of a and b, where the argument with less elements is recycled. stringdistmatrix computes the string distance matrix with rows according to a and columns according to b.

Usage

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stringdist(
  a,
  b,
  method = c("osa", "lv", "dl", "hamming", "lcs", "qgram", "cosine", "jaccard", "jw",
    "soundex"),
  useBytes = FALSE,
  weight = c(d = 1, i = 1, s = 1, t = 1),
  q = 1,
  p = 0,
  bt = 0,
  nthread = getOption("sd_num_thread")
)

stringdistmatrix(
  a,
  b,
  method = c("osa", "lv", "dl", "hamming", "lcs", "qgram", "cosine", "jaccard", "jw",
    "soundex"),
  useBytes = FALSE,
  weight = c(d = 1, i = 1, s = 1, t = 1),
  q = 1,
  p = 0,
  bt = 0,
  useNames = c("none", "strings", "names"),
  nthread = getOption("sd_num_thread")
)

Arguments

a

R object (target); will be converted by as.character

b

R object (source); will be converted by as.character This argument is optional for stringdistmatrix (see section Value).

method

Method for distance calculation. The default is "osa", see stringdist-metrics.

useBytes

Perform byte-wise comparison, see stringdist-encoding.

weight

For method='osa' or 'dl', the penalty for deletion, insertion, substitution and transposition, in that order. When method='lv', the penalty for transposition is ignored. When method='jw', the weights associated with characters of a, characters from b and the transposition weight, in that order. Weights must be positive and not exceed 1. weight is ignored completely when method='hamming', 'qgram', 'cosine', 'Jaccard', 'lcs', or soundex.

q

Size of the q-gram; must be nonnegative. Only applies to method='qgram', 'jaccard' or 'cosine'.

p

Prefix factor for Jaro-Winkler distance. The valid range for p is 0 <= p <= 0.25. If p=0 (default), the Jaro-distance is returned. Applies only to method='jw'.

bt

Winkler's boost threshold. Winkler's prefix factor is only applied when the Jaro distance is larger than bt. Applies only to method='jw' and p>0.

nthread

Maximum number of threads to use. By default, a sensible number of threads is chosen, see stringdist-parallelization.

useNames

Use input vectors as row and column names?

Value

For stringdist, a vector with string distances of size max(length(a),length(b)).

For stringdistmatrix: if both a and b are passed, a length(a)xlength(b) matrix. If a single argument a is given an object of class dist is returned.

Distances are nonnegative if they can be computed, NA if any of the two argument strings is NA and Inf when maxDist is exceeded or, in case of the hamming distance, when the two compared strings have different length.

See Also

stringsim, qgrams, amatch, afind

Examples

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# Simple example using optimal string alignment
stringdist("ca","abc")

# computing a 'dist' object
d <- stringdistmatrix(c('foo','bar','boo','baz'))
# try plot(hclust(d))

# The following gives a matrix
stringdistmatrix(c("foo","bar","boo"),c("baz","buz"))

# An example using Damerau-Levenshtein distance (multiple editing of substrings allowed)
stringdist("ca","abc",method="dl")

# string distance matching is case sensitive:
stringdist("ABC","abc")

# so you may want to normalize a bit:
stringdist(tolower("ABC"),"abc")

# stringdist recycles the shortest argument:
stringdist(c('a','b','c'),c('a','c'))

# stringdistmatrix gives the distance matrix (by default for optimal string alignment):
stringdist(c('a','b','c'),c('a','c'))

# different edit operations may be weighted; e.g. weighted substitution:
stringdist('ab','ba',weight=c(1,1,1,0.5))

# Non-unit weights for insertion and deletion makes the distance metric asymetric
stringdist('ca','abc')
stringdist('abc','ca')
stringdist('ca','abc',weight=c(0.5,1,1,1))
stringdist('abc','ca',weight=c(0.5,1,1,1))

# Hamming distance is undefined for 
# strings of unequal lengths so stringdist returns Inf
stringdist("ab","abc",method="h")
# For strings of eqal length it counts the number of unequal characters as they occur
# in the strings from beginning to end
stringdist("hello","HeLl0",method="h")

# The lcs (longest common substring) distance returns the number of 
# characters that are not part of the lcs.
#
# Here, the lcs is either 'a' or 'b' and one character cannot be paired:
stringdist('ab','ba',method="lcs")
# Here the lcs is 'surey' and 'v', 'g' and one 'r' of 'surgery' are not paired
stringdist('survey','surgery',method="lcs")


# q-grams are based on the difference between occurrences of q consecutive characters
# in string a and string b.
# Since each character abc occurs in 'abc' and 'cba', the q=1 distance equals 0:
stringdist('abc','cba',method='qgram',q=1)

# since the first string consists of 'ab','bc' and the second 
# of 'cb' and 'ba', the q=2 distance equals 4 (they have no q=2 grams in common):
stringdist('abc','cba',method='qgram',q=2)

# Wikipedia has the following example of the Jaro-distance. 
stringdist('MARTHA','MATHRA',method='jw')
# Note that stringdist gives a  _distance_ where wikipedia gives the corresponding 
# _similarity measure_. To get the wikipedia result:
1 - stringdist('MARTHA','MATHRA',method='jw')

# The corresponding Jaro-Winkler distance can be computed by setting p=0.1
stringdist('MARTHA','MATHRA',method='jw',p=0.1)
# or, as a similarity measure
1 - stringdist('MARTHA','MATHRA',method='jw',p=0.1)

# This gives distance 1 since Euler and Gauss translate to different soundex codes.
stringdist('Euler','Gauss',method='soundex')
# Euler and Ellery translate to the same code and have distance 0
stringdist('Euler','Ellery',method='soundex')

stringdist documentation built on Sept. 9, 2021, 5:08 p.m.