According to Wikipedia, both bad character table and good suffix table can be created in $O(n)$ time, where $n$ is the length of the pattern. It is pretty obvious how bad character table can be computed in linear time, but I don't understand how good suffix table can be computed in linear time. I thought about it a lot, and could not come up with an $O(n)$ algorithm to generate that table. I also looked at the Java implementation provided in Wikipedia, but I think it runs in $O(n^2)$ time. For example, look at the following two lines taken from makeOffsetTable method.

for (int i = needle.length - 1; i >= 0; --i) {
    if (isPrefix(needle, i + 1)) {

Outer for loop iterates needle.length (i.e. $n$) times, and within the loop body isPrefix is called, which contains a loop that starts with the following header.

for (int i = p, j = 0; i < needle.length; ++i, ++j) {

Just to make it easier on the eyes, here is the two loops shown together.

for (int i = needle.length - 1; i >= 0; --i) {
    for (int i2 = i + 1, j = 0; i2 < needle.length; ++i2, ++j) {

I can get rid of j of the inner loop to further simplify it.

for (int i = needle.length - 1; i >= 0; --i) {
    for (int i2 = i + 1; i2 < needle.length; ++i2) {

What I see here is that with each successive iteration of the outer loop, inner loop will have one additional iteration. So, the number of iterations for the inner loop will be $0, 1, 2, 3, 4, ..., (n-1)$ which adds up to $(n-1)n/2$, which is $O(n^2)$, which is not linear.

So, the question is, does it really take more than linear time to compute the good suffix table, or am I making a mistake with runtime calculation?

  • $\begingroup$ The functions preBmGs and suffixes given on this page seem to be generating the good suffix table in O(n) time. There is a nested loop in each function, but because of the way the loops execute both functions run in O(n) time (which took quite some time for me to figure out using some examples.) $\endgroup$ – nlogn Dec 26 '16 at 3:00
  • $\begingroup$ I adapted those two functions in Java, but it generates unexpected good suffix table values for the example given in Levitin's book (page 263). $\endgroup$ – nlogn Dec 26 '16 at 3:01

The implementation provided in Wikipedia is $O(n^2)$. But these tables can actually be built in $O(n)$ time via Z-algorithm. Since you can find Z-algorithm on internet easily, I just provide a sketch here.

Let $s[i,j]$ denote the substring of $s$ from $i$-th position to $j$-th position. Like what we see in the $O(n^2)$ code, we want to find the largest value $z_i$ satisfying $s[i-z_i+1,i]=s[n-z_i+1,n]$ for each $i$ (the longest matching suffix).

Now compute $z_i$ from back to front. Let $l$ be the smallest number s.t. $s[l,r]=s[n-r+l,n]$ for some $r>i$. If $l\le i$, we have $s[l,i]=s[n-r+l,n-r+i]$, which means we can get some information from $z_{n-r+i}$. If $z_{n-r+i}\le i-l$, $z_i=z_{n-r+i}$. Otherwise $s[l,i]=s[n-i+l,n]$ and $z_i>i-l$. In this case, we should find the real $z_i$ by brute force, but at the same time we get a smaller $l$, which provide more information for future computation. Since $l$ is non-increasing, the algorithm works in $O(n)$.


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