Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Finding Mistakes in Typing

When we write (ie, type), we make certain common mistakes.
  • In haste, we may end up typing in xy instead of yx, eg, attitued. I formulated a string matching problem in presence of such character swaps, and the problem was researched a lot in the past 14 years since. We can write a script to automatically find and modify such mistakes.
  • Sometimes you end a line in .tex file with a word w and by mistake start the following line with w also. Like, ..... the \\ the ..... One can again write a script to automatically find and remove such duplicate words. On a related note, Rao has a paper on an efficient algorithm for finding all ....ww....'s.
  • My problem is subtler. I type in a sentence, go over and change it, reorder the subject into object, move phrases, change tenses, voice, etc. Invariably pieces of strings get left behind, and the full sentence becomes nonsensical. It is difficult to find such semantic mistakes automatically and correct them, you may miss them even on reading over.



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