Suffix Tree - History


The concept was first introduced as a position tree by Weiner (1973), which Donald Knuth subsequently characterized as "Algorithm of the Year 1973". The construction was greatly simplified by McCreight (1976), and also by Ukkonen (1995). Ukkonen provided the first online-construction of suffix trees, now known as Ukkonen's algorithm, with running time that matched the then fastest algorithms. These algorithms are all linear-time for a constant-size alphabet, and have worst-case running time of in general.

Farach (1997) gave the first suffix tree construction algorithm that is optimal for all alphabets. In particular, this is the first linear-time algorithm for strings drawn from an alphabet of integers in a polynomial range. Farach's algorithm has become the basis for new algorithms for constructing both suffix trees and suffix arrays, for example, in external memory, compressed, succinct, etc.

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