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Compute the similarity between two entries in a field?

Question asked by ShayH on Nov 6, 2013
Latest reply on Nov 6, 2013 by philmodjunk


Compute the similarity between two entries in a field?


     I need a way to compute the similarity between two entries in a field (different records, same table, same field.) I have a field called org_name, and I want to find all of the records in the same table that have a similar entry (to the current record) for this field. Eventually, I think I would want to set up another table occurrence so I can display them in a portal... but that's later.

     I'm having this problem because this is a user-inputted field, so there are a lot of standardization problems. For example,"Jefferson Elementary" "West Jefferson Elementary" "Jefferson Elementary School" "Jefferson County Elementary" won't show up as a match, even if they refer to the same school. Even more problematic are "-", "&", "and", "#", "No.", "5", "Five"... etc.

     I am somewhat acquainted with the algorithms for edit distance, affine gap distance, Smith-Waterman distance... etc., but I can't see how I would implement something like that using only scripts. Does FileMaker Pro support recursion or dynamic programming techniques?

     Can any of these things be done in Filemaker Pro 12? I haven't been able to find examples of other people trying to do anything similar, so I would greatly appreciate any insight at all.

     Much thanks!