© 2008

The Burrows-Wheeler Transform: Data Compression, Suffix Arrays, and Pattern Matching


  • Comprehensive resource for information related to different aspects of the Burrows-Wheeler Transform

  • Explores non-traditional applications of the BWT

  • Tutorial materials ideal for classroom use on courses in: (1) Data Compression and Source Coding, (2) Modern Information Retrieval, (3) Information Science, (4) Digital Libraries


Table of contents

About this book


This book will serve as a reference for seasoned professionals or researchers in the area, while remaining accessible for senior undergraduate students or first year graduate students embarking upon research in compression, pattern matching, full text retrieval, compressed index structures, or other areas related to the BWT.

Key features include a comprehensive resource for information related to different aspects of the Burrows-Wheeler Transform, an exploration of non-traditional applications of the BWT in areas such as Bioinformatics, test data compression for systems-on-chip and multimedia information retrieval, and tutorial materials ideal for classroom use.

Advance Praise for The Burrows-Wheeler Transform:

"A thorough discussion of the Burrows-Wheeler Transform and its many connections to pattern-matching and data compression is long overdue. This fascinating, comprehensive monograph fills a gap: a ‘must-read’ for researchers in bioinformatics and computer science".

-- Professor Bill Smyth, McMaster University, Canada

"A much-needed book providing the first complete coverage of the principles and applications of a fascinating tool. The exposition is rigorous but still easy to follow. I heartily recommend this book to anyone interested in data compression or string algorithms".

-- Professor Giovanni Manzini, Università del Piemonte Orientale, Italy


BWT Burrows Wheeler Compression Information Lossless Lossy Pattern Matching Suffix Arrays algorithms ants data compression

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.West Virginia UniversityMorgantownUSA
  2. 2.University of CanterburyNew Zealand
  3. 3.University of Central Florida32816-2362OrlandoUSA

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors
IT & Software
Finance, Business & Banking
Energy, Utilities & Environment


From the reviews:

"The focus of the book, the Burrows-Wheeler transform (BWT), is an algorithm … used in data compression and pattern matching. … A major strength of the book is the clear writing style and the easy-to-follow flow. … On one hand, a student or faculty will discover theoretical topics related to information theory and pattern recognition. On the other, computational scientists will be attracted to the many applications of the BWT transform. All in all, it is a worthwhile lecture." (Stefan Robila, ACM Computing Reviews, November, 2008)

“This book exposes the reader to many applications of the Burrows-Wheeler Transform … . This book invites the reader to explore a new topic. … I can recommend this text to a wide variety of readers. This book is well suited for a researcher … who seeks to understand the Burrows-Wheeler Transform and its many applications to existing framework of algorithms. … This would be a wonderful course textbook since its coverage is comprehensive … . Many computer scientists can gain from reading this book.” (Shoshana Neuburger, SIGACT News, Vol. 41 (1), 2010)