A comparison of string distance metrics for name-matching tasks

Cohen, WW; Ravikumar, P; Fienberg, SE
Proceedings of the IJCAI-2003 Workshop on Information

Using an open-source, Java toolkit of name-matching methods, we experimentally compare string distance metrics on the task of matching entity names. We investigate a number of different metrics proposed by different communities, including edit-distance metrics, fast heuristic string comparators, token-based distance metrics, and hybrid methods. Overall, the best-performing method is a hybrid scheme combining a TFIDF weighting scheme, which is widely used in information retrieval, with the Jaro-Winkler string-distance scheme, which was developed in the probabilistic record linkage community.

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