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    The main drawback of the search with the minimal  A(x) (see Deterministic Finite Automaton) is the size of the automaton: O(m).

    Simon noticed that there are only a few significant edges in  A(x) ;
they are: 
  • the forward edges going from the prefix of x of length k to the prefix of length k+1 for 0  k < m. There are exactly m such edges;
  • the backward edges going from the prefix of x of length k to a smaller non-zero length prefix. The number of such edges is bounded by m.

    The other edges are leading to the initial state and can then be deduced. Thus the number of significant edges is bounded by 2m. Then for each state of the automaton it is only necessary to store the list of its significant outgoing edges.

    Each state is represented by the length of its associated prefix minus 1 in order that each edge leading to state i, with -1  i  m-1 is labelled by x[i] thus it is not necessary to store the labels of the edges. The forward edges can be easily deduced from the pattern, thus they are not stored. It only remains to store the significant backward edges.

    We use a table L, of size m-2, of linked lists. The element L[i] gives the list of the targets of the edges starting from state i. In order to avoid to store the list for the state m-1, during the computation of this table L, the integer  is computed such that +1 is the length of the longest border of x.

    The preprocessing phase of the Simon algorithm consists in computing the table L and the integer . It can be done in O(m) space and time complexity.

    The searching phase is analogous to the one of the search with an automaton. When an occurrence of the pattern is found, the current state is updated with the state . This phase can be performed in O(m+n) time. The Simon algorithm performs at most 2n-1 text character comparisons during the searching phase. The delay (maximal number of comparisons for a single text character) is bounded by min{1+log2(m), }.

Main features:

  • economical implementation of  A(x) the minimal Deterministic Finite Automaton recognizing *x;
  • preprocessing phase in O(m) time and space complexity;
  • searching phase in O(m+n) time complexity (independent from the alphabet size);
  • at most 2n-1 text character comparisons during the searching phase;
  • delay bounded by min{1 + log2m, }.