On Undetected Redundancy in the Burrows-Wheeler Transform

Author Uwe Baier

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Uwe Baier
  • Institute of Theoretical Computer Science, Ulm University, D-89069 Ulm, Germany

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Uwe Baier. On Undetected Redundancy in the Burrows-Wheeler Transform. In 29th Annual Symposium on Combinatorial Pattern Matching (CPM 2018). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 105, pp. 3:1-3:15, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2018)


The Burrows-Wheeler-Transform (BWT) is an invertible permutation of a text known to be highly compressible but also useful for sequence analysis, what makes the BWT highly attractive for lossless data compression. In this paper, we present a new technique to reduce the size of a BWT using its combinatorial properties, while keeping it invertible. The technique can be applied to any BWT-based compressor, and, as experiments show, is able to reduce the encoding size by 8-16 % on average and up to 33-57 % in the best cases (depending on the BWT-compressor used), making BWT-based compressors competitive or even superior to today's best lossless compressors.

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Theory of computation → Data compression
  • Applied computing → Document analysis
  • Mathematics of computing → Coding theory
  • Lossless data compression
  • BWT
  • Tunneling


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