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Normalization of edit sequences for text synchronization. (English) Zbl 1218.68193
Summary: It often occurs that local copies of a text are modified by users but that the local modifications are not synchronized (thus allowing the merged text to become the source for later editions), until later when, for instance, the network connection is reestablished. Since text editions usually affect a small fraction of the whole content, the history of edit operations provides a compact representation of the modified file. In this paper, we define a normal form for these records which will permit for the comparison of all text files that have been obtained by editing a common source \(S\) when the difference between each output file \(O_{i}\) and the source file is given as a sequence \(L_{i}\) of edit operations. We show that the normalized sequence is unique for all the equivalent text editions and provide efficient procedures with which to compute this normal form and to obtain the edit sequence \(L_{M}\) transforming \(S\) into a merged file \(M\) which integrates all the local modifications. We also discuss how these normalization can be integrated into the operational transformation paradigm for optimistic replication.
68U99 Computing methodologies and applications
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