Subwords in reverse-complement order

Authors Péter L. Erdös, Péter Ligeti, Péter Sziklai, David C. Torney

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Péter L. Erdös
Péter Ligeti
Péter Sziklai
David C. Torney

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Péter L. Erdös, Péter Ligeti, Péter Sziklai, and David C. Torney. Subwords in reverse-complement order. In Combinatorial and Algorithmic Foundations of Pattern and Association Discovery. Dagstuhl Seminar Proceedings, Volume 6201, pp. 1-8, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2006)


We examine finite words over an alphabet $Gamma={a,bar{a};b,bar{b}}$ of pairs of letters, where each word $w_1w_2...w_t$ is identical with its {it reverse complement} $bar{w_t}{w_2}bar{w_1}$ (where $bar{bbar{a}}=a,bar{bar{b}}=b$). We seek the smallest $k$ such that every word of length $n,$ composed from $Gamma$, is uniquely determined by the set of its subwords of length up to $k$. Our almost sharp result ($ksim 2n/3$) is an analogue of a classical result for ``normal'' words. This classical problem originally was posed by M.P. Sch"utzenberger and I. Simon, and gained a considerable interest for several researchers, foremost by Vladimir Levenshtein. Our problem has its roots in bioinformatics.
  • Reverse complement order
  • Reconstruction of words
  • Microarray experiments


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