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fuzzysearch is useful for finding approximate subsequence matches

Project description

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fuzzysearch is a Python library for fuzzy substring searches. It implements efficient ad-hoc searching for approximate sub-sequences. Matching is done using a generalized Levenshtein Distance metric, with configurable parameters.


Just install using pip:

$ pip install fuzzysearch


  • Fuzzy sub-sequence search: Find parts of a sequence which match a given sub-sequence.
  • Easy to use: A single function to call which returns a list of matches.
  • Set a maximum Levenshtein Distance for matches, including individual limits for the number of substitutions, insertions and/or deletions allowed for near-matches.
  • Includes optimized implementations for specific use-cases, e.g. allowing only substitutions.

Simple Examples

Just call find_near_matches() with the sequence to search, the sub-sequence you’re looking for, and the matching parameters:

>>> from fuzzysearch import find_near_matches
# search for 'PATTERN' with a maximum Levenshtein Distance of 1
>>> find_near_matches('PATTERN', '---PATERN---', max_l_dist=1)
[Match(start=3, end=9, dist=1)]
>>> sequence = '''\
>>> subsequence = 'TGCACTGTAGGGATAACAAT' # distance = 1
>>> find_near_matches(subsequence, sequence, max_l_dist=2)
[Match(start=3, end=24, dist=1)]

Advanced Search Criteria

The search function supports four possible match criteria, which may be supplied in any combination:

  • maximum Levenshtein distance
  • maximum # of subsitutions
  • maximum # of deletions (elements appearing in the pattern search for, which are skipped in the matching sub-sequence)
  • maximum # of insertions (elements added in the matching sub-sequence which don’t appear in the pattern search for)

Not supplying a criterion means that there is no limit for it. For this reason, one must always supply max_l_dist and/or all other criteria.

>>> find_near_matches('PATTERN', '---PATERN---', max_l_dist=1)
[Match(start=3, end=9, dist=1)]

# this will not match since max-deletions is set to zero
>>> find_near_matches('PATTERN', '---PATERN---', max_l_dist=1, max_deletions=0)

# note that a deletion + insertion may be combined to match a substution
>>> find_near_matches('PATTERN', '---PAT-ERN---', max_deletions=1, max_insertions=1, max_substitutions=0)
[Match(start=3, end=10, dist=1)] # the Levenshtein distance is still 1

# ... but deletion + insertion may also match other, non-substitution differences
>>> find_near_matches('PATTERN', '---PATERRN---', max_deletions=1, max_insertions=1, max_substitutions=0)
[Match(start=3, end=10, dist=2)]


0.6.1 (2018-12-08)

  • Fixed some C compiler warnings for the C and Cython modules

0.6.0 (2018-12-07)

  • Dropped support for Python versions 2.6, 3.2 and 3.3
  • Added support and testing for Python 3.7
  • Optimized the n-grams Levenshtein search for long sub-sequences
  • Further optimized the n-grams Levenshtein search
  • Cython versions of the optimized parts of the n-grams Levenshtein search

0.5.0 (2017-09-05)

  • Fixed search_exact_byteslike() to support supplying start and end indexes
  • Added support for lists, tuples and other Sequence types to search_exact()
  • Fixed a bug where find_near_matches() could return a wrong Match.end with max_l_dist=0
  • Added more tests and improved some existing ones.

0.4.0 (2017-07-06)

  • Added support and testing for Python 3.5 and 3.6
  • Many small improvements to README, and CI testing

0.3.0 (2015-02-12)

  • Added C extensions for several search functions as well as internal functions
  • Use C extensions if available, or pure-Python implementations otherwise
  • attempts to build C extensions, but installs without if build fails
  • Added --noexts option to avoid trying to build the C extensions
  • Greatly improved testing and coverage

0.2.2 (2014-03-27)

  • Added support for searching through BioPython Seq objects
  • Added specialized search function allowing only subsitutions and insertions
  • Fixed several bugs

0.2.1 (2014-03-14)

  • Fixed major match grouping bug

0.2.0 (2013-03-13)

  • New utility function find_near_matches() for easier use
  • Additional documentation

0.1.0 (2013-11-12)

  • Two working implementations
  • Extensive test suite; all tests passing
  • Full support for Python 2.6-2.7 and 3.1-3.3
  • Bumped status from Pre-Alpha to Alpha

0.0.1 (2013-11-01)

  • First release on PyPI.

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