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2008
ACM

Why simple hash functions work: exploiting the entropy in a data stream

8 years 11 months ago
Why simple hash functions work: exploiting the entropy in a data stream
Hashing is fundamental to many algorithms and data structures widely used in practice. For theoretical analysis of hashing, there have been two main approaches. First, one can assume that the hash function is truly random, mapping each data item independently and uniformly to the range. This idealized model is unrealistic because a truly random hash function requires an exponential number of bits to describe. Alternatively, one can provide rigorous bounds on performance when explicit families of hash functions are used, such as 2-universal or O(1)-wise independent families. For such families, performance guarantees are often noticeably weaker than for ideal hashing. In practice, however, it is commonly observed that simple hash functions, including 2universal hash functions, perform as predicted by the idealized analysis for truly random hash functions. In this paper, we try to explain this phenomenon. We demonstrate that the strong performance of universal hash functions in practice ...
Michael Mitzenmacher, Salil P. Vadhan
Added 30 Oct 2010
Updated 30 Oct 2010
Type Conference
Year 2008
Where SODA
Authors Michael Mitzenmacher, Salil P. Vadhan
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