Dear Mark, I have one doubt on "If that element in the array is in use, a fixed offset probe is used to search new locations.
As to whether this is an efficient method or nort, all I can say is that the original authors of the UNIX compress program who developed this strategy though that it was generally efficient, and their tests came up with the figure that said no more than three probes were usually needed.
I'm not an expert on hashing, so I just used the same algorithm that was in that code.
I think in general to really know if your hash table is performing well you just have to run tests and gather statistics - it's difficult to predict in advance what the usage patterns will be.
The second someone is right, the algorithm popularized by PKZip and still used in most "Zip-compatible" compressors is called deflate.
It is an LZ77 compressor that uses a Huffman compressor on its token stream.
It was very fast and efficient when it was first used 18 years ago 9 and is still the most popular compression algorithm for general purpose work today.
LZ77 and LZ78, despite the similar names, are completely different from one another.
Mark, How close is the output of this algo to the Unix compress (LZC? Will the output of your 12-bit version generate a file that can be restored by 'uncompress'?
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