[ python-Bugs-1528074 ] difflib.SequenceMatcher.find_longest_match() wrong result

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Tue Jul 25 01:59:52 CEST 2006

Bugs item #1528074, was opened at 2006-07-25 09:59
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Category: Python Library
Group: None
Status: Open
Resolution: None
Priority: 5
Submitted By: John Machin (sjmachin)
Assigned to: Nobody/Anonymous (nobody)
Summary: difflib.SequenceMatcher.find_longest_match()  wrong result

Initial Comment:
A short example script is attached.
Two strings, each 500 bytes long. Longest match is the
first 32 bytes of each string. Result produced is a
10-byte match later in the string.

If one byte is chopped off the end of each string (len
now 499 each), the correct result is produced.

Other observations, none of which may be relevant:
1. Problem may be in the heuristic for "popular"
elements in the __chain_b method. In this particular
example, the character '0' (which has frequency of 6 in
the "b" string) is not "popular" with a len of 500 but
is "popular" with a len of 499.
2. '0' is the last byte of the correct longest match.
3. The correct longest match is at the start of the
each of the strings.
4. Disabling the "popular" heuristic (like below)
appears to make the problem go away:

                if 0:
                # if n >= 200 and len(indices) * 100 > n:
                    populardict[elt] = 1
                    del indices[:]
5. The callable self.isbpopular is created but appears
to be unused.
6. The determination of "popular" doesn't accord with
the comments, which say 1%. However with len==500,
takes 6 to be popular.


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