A Reduction of the Dynamic Time Warping Distance to the Longest Increasing Subsequence Length

Authors Yoshifumi Sakai, Shunsuke Inenaga

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Author Details

Yoshifumi Sakai
  • Graduate School of Agricultural Science, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan
Shunsuke Inenaga
  • Department of Informatics, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan
  • PRESTO, Japan Science and Technology Agency, Kawaguchi, Japan

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Yoshifumi Sakai and Shunsuke Inenaga. A Reduction of the Dynamic Time Warping Distance to the Longest Increasing Subsequence Length. In 31st International Symposium on Algorithms and Computation (ISAAC 2020). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 181, pp. 6:1-6:16, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2020)


The similarity between a pair of time series, i.e., sequences of indexed values in time order, is often estimated by the dynamic time warping (DTW) distance, instead of any in the well-studied family of measures including the longest common subsequence (LCS) length and the edit distance. Although it may seem as if the DTW and the LCS(-like) measures are essentially different, we reveal that the DTW distance can be represented by the longest increasing subsequence (LIS) length of a sequence of integers, which is the LCS length between the integer sequence and itself sorted. For a given pair of time series of n integers between zero and c, we propose an integer sequence that represents any substring-substring DTW distance as its band-substring LIS length. The length of the produced integer sequence is O(c⁴ n²) or O(c² n²) depending on the variant of the DTW distance used, both of which can be translated to O(n²) for constant cost functions. To demonstrate that techniques developed under the LCS(-like) measures are directly applicable to analysis of time series via our reduction of DTW to LIS, we present time-efficient algorithms for DTW-related problems utilizing the semi-local sequence comparison technique developed for LCS-related problems.

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Theory of computation → Pattern matching
  • algorithms
  • dynamic time warping distance
  • longest increasing subsequence
  • semi-local sequence comparison


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