Implementation of the State Set Index Algorithm

2.0.2 2024-03-18 14:40 UTC

This package is auto-updated.

Last update: 2024-04-18 14:59:31 UTC


This implements the algorithm presented in the 2012 research paper "Efficient Similarity Search in Very Large String Sets" by Dandy Fenz, Dustin Lange, Astrid Rheinländer, Felix Naumann, and Ulf Leser from the Hasso Plattner Institute, Potsdam, Germany and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Department of Computer Science, Berlin, Germany.

The algorithm allows to efficiently search through huge datasets with typos (Levenshtein distance) while keeping the index size small. Download the paper and read all the details here.


Use Composer:

composer require toflar/state-set-index


namespace App;

use Toflar\StateSetIndex\Alphabet\Utf8Alphabet;
use Toflar\StateSetIndex\DataStore\InMemoryDataStore;
use Toflar\StateSetIndex\StateSet\InMemoryStateSet;
use Toflar\StateSetIndex\StateSetIndex;

$stateSetIndex = new StateSetIndex(
    new Config(6, 4),
    new Utf8Alphabet(),
    new InMemoryStateSet(),
    new InMemoryDataStore()

$stateSetIndex->index(['Mueller', 'Müller', 'Muentner', 'Muster', 'Mustermann']);
$stateSetIndex->find('Mustre', 2); // Will return ['Muster'];


You can configure the maximum index length and maximum alphabet size with the Config object. Read the paper for details on what they do. There's no such thing as a recommended size as it very much depends on what you want to index and or search.


This library ships with the algorithm readily prepared for you to use. The main customization areas will be the alphabet (both the way it maps characters to labels) and the state set storage, if you want to make the index persistent. Hence, there are two interfaces that allow you to implement your own logic:

  • The AlphabetInterface is very straight-forward. It only consists of a map(string $char, int $alphabetSize) method which the library needs to map characters to an internal label. Whether you load/store the alphabet in some database is up to you. The library ships with an InMemoryAlphabet for reference and simple use cases. You don't even need to store the alphabet as we already have one with the UTF-8 codepoints, that's what Utf8Alphabet is for. In case you don't want to customize the labels, use Utf8Alphabet.
  • The StateSetInterface is responsible to load and store information about the state set of your index. Again, how you load/store the state set in some database is up to you. The library ships with an InMemoryStateSet for reference and simple use cases and tests.
  • The DataStoreInterface is responsible for storing the string you index alongside its assigned state. Sometimes you want to completely customize storage in which case you can use the NullDataStore and only use the assignments you get as a return value from calling $stateSetIndex->index().

You can not only ask for the final matching results using $stateSetIndex->findMatchingStates('Mustre', 2) which is already filtered using a multibyte implementation of the Levenshtein algorithm, but you can also access intermediary results which you can use to e.g. search your own database for states etc.:

  • $stateSetIndex->findMatchingStates('Mustre', 2) returns the matching states only.
  • $stateSetIndex->findAcceptedStrings('Mustre', 2) returns the matching states and the respective accepted strings (unfiltered for false-positives!).
  • $stateSetIndex->find('Mustre', 2) returns the real matches, filtered for false-positives.