May 26, 2018

Implementation of the soundex algorithm

Soundex is a phonetic algorithm for indexing names by sound, as pronounced in English. The goal is for names with the same pronunciation to be encoded to the same representation so that they can be matched despite minor differences in spelling. Soundex is the most widely known of all phonetic algorithms and is often used incorrectly as a synonym for “phonetic algorithm”. Improvements to Soundex are the basis for many modern phonetic algorithms. Wikipedia, 2007

TextSoundex implements the original soundex algorithm developed by Robert Russell and Margaret Odell, patented in 1918 and 1922, as well as a variation called “American Soundex” used for US census data, and current maintained by the National Archives and Records Administration NARA.

The soundex algorithm may be recognized from Donald Knuth’s The Art of Computer Programming. The algorithm described by Knuth is the NARA algorithm.

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