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Data Analysis with R - Second Edition by Tony Fischetti

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Fuzzy matching

In order to prepare for record linkage on book titles, we normalized the strings by performing a few operations on them. An alternative is to use what is referred to as fuzzy matching.

An exact match between two strings requires that the strings be... well... exactly the same. For example, Finnegans Wake and Finnegan's Wake are obviously referring to the same entity but a join operation on exact string equality will not make this connection. A fuzzy join operation can use a measure of string similarity and join records with above a certain threshold of similarity. There are many different types of string similarity metrics but most of them would rate both versions of the work by James Joyce as highly similar.

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