In computer science, a suffix tree (also called PAT tree or, in an earlier form, position tree) is a data structure that presents the suffixes of a given string in a way that allows for a particularly fast implementation of many important string operations.
The suffix tree for a string is a tree whose edges are labeled with strings, such that each suffix of corresponds to exactly one path from the tree's root to a leaf. It is thus a radix tree (more specifically, a Patricia tree) for the suffixes of .
Constructing such a tree for the string takes time and space linear in the length of . Once constructed, several operations can be performed quickly, for instance locating a substring in, locating a substring if a certain number of mistakes are allowed, locating matches for a regular expression pattern etc. Suffix trees also provided one of the first linear-time solutions for the longest common substring problem. These speedups come at a cost: storing a string's suffix tree typically requires significantly more space than storing the string itself.
Famous quotes containing the word tree:
“The whole tree itself is but one leaf, and rivers are still vaster leaves whose pulp is intervening earth, and towns and cities are the ova of insects in their axils.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)