phonetic coding

(classic problem)

Definition: Code a string based on how it is pronounced.

Specialization (... is a kind of me.)
double metaphone, Jaro-Winkler, Caverphone, NYSIIS, soundex.

See also string matching with errors.

Note: Because spelling variants of names are common in English, algorithms have been developed to code names based on how they sound. Searching and matching is done by converting a name to some phonetic coding, and comparing codings. If I type "Hansen" into my electronic telephone book, it is useful for it to offer "Hanson" as a possible match.

Levenshtein distance and other measures or algorithms allowing for spelling errors usually have sophisticated matching routines, rather than preprocessing the names.

Author: PEB

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Entry modified 17 December 2004.
HTML page formatted Wed Mar 13 12:42:46 2019.

Cite this as:
Paul E. Black, "phonetic coding", in Dictionary of Algorithms and Data Structures [online], Paul E. Black, ed. 17 December 2004. (accessed TODAY) Available from: