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st: Fuzzy collapse

From   Charles Vellutini <>
To   "" <>
Subject   st: Fuzzy collapse
Date   Thu, 26 Jan 2012 08:03:57 -0800

Dear Statalisters,

I have a string variable holding thousands of search keywords, many of them identical up to a few accents or characters. Here is a typical sample:


Obs1    		télécommandes
Obs2		télecommandes	
Obs3 		télécomandes
Obs4		telecommandes
Obs5		télécommande

I would like to do a "fuzzy" collapse, that is, to group observations with near-identical keywords. I could write manual multiple -replace-'s to harmonize keywords, but given the size of the dataset and the variety of keywords, that is hardly feasible. I am aware of the -reclink- user-written command for fuzzy merging but that is for merging two datasets, not for collapsing observations within a dataset. It is not immediately evident to me how I could use -reclink- to solve my problem, but maybe that is feasible?

Any suggestion much appreciated.


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