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Communications of the ACM

A polynomial time generator for minimal perfect hash functions


A perfect hash function PHF is an injection F from a set W of M objects into the set consisting of the first N nonnegative integers where N ⩾ M. If N = M, then F is a minimal perfect hash function, MPHF. PHFs are useful for the compact storage and fast retrieval of frequently used objects such as reserved words in a programming language or commonly employed words in a natural language.The mincycle algorithm for finding PHFs executes with an expected time complexity that is polynomial in M and has been used successfully on sets of cardinality up to 512. Given three pseudorandom functions h0, h1, and h2, the mincycle algorithm searches for a function g such that F(w) = (h0(w) + g ° h1(w) + g ° h2(w)) mod N is a PHF.

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