Lightweight LCP construction for very large collections of strings

Giovanna Rosone, Marinella Sciortino, Anthony J. Cox, Giovanna Rosone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)


The longest common prefix array is a very advantageous data structure that, combined with the suffix array and the Burrows-Wheeler transform, allows to efficiently compute some combinatorial properties of a string useful in several applications, especially in biological contexts. Nowadays, the input data for many problems are big collections of strings, for instance the data coming from "next-generation" DNA sequencing (NGS) technologies. In this paper we present the first lightweight algorithm (called extLCP) for the simultaneous computation of the longest common prefix array and the Burrows-Wheeler transform of a very large collection of strings having any length. The computation is realized by performing disk data accesses only via sequential scans, and the total disk space usage never needs more than twice the output size, excluding the disk space required for the input. Moreover, extLCP allows to compute also the suffix array of the strings of the collection, without any other further data structure is needed. Finally, we test our algorithm on real data and compare our results with another tool capable to work in external memory on large collections of strings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-33
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Discrete Algorithms
Publication statusPublished - 2016


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Discrete Mathematics and Combinatorics
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics

Cite this