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On the Efficient Determination of Most Near Neighbors, 2nd Edition by Mark S. Manasse

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CHAPTER 1

Introduction

1.1ON SIMILARITY, RESEMBLANCE, LOOK-ALIKES, AND ENTITY RESOLUTION

For over 2000 years, from Plautus to Shakespeare, from Dumas to Dickens to Twain, from The Great Dictator to Moon over Parador, from The Parent Trap to Dave, we have been fascinated and entertained by the humor and drama offered by separated twins, look-alikes, and impersonations. Criminal convictions are often gained through the use of eyewitness testimony, even though DNA evidence has recently freed many people imprisoned due to mistaken identifications by a witness. Resemblance, similarity, and identity should not be conflated.

Medieval philosophers worried about quiddity and haecciety when trying to understand why two identical things were in fact two. ...

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