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# An Analysis of Data Compression and Comparison of Methods

Data Compression Data Compression just sounds complicated Dont be afraid compression is our good friend for many reasons It saves hard drive space It makes data files easier to handle It also cuts down those immense file download times from the Internet Wouldnt it be nice if we could compress all files down to just a few bytes There is a limit to how much you can compress a file How random the file is is the determining factor to how far it can be compressed If the file is completely random and no pattern can be found then the shortest representation of the file is the file it self The actual proof that proves this is at the end of my paper The key to compressing a file is to find some sort of exploitable pattern Most of this paper will be explaining those patterns that are commonly used Null suppression is the most primitive form of data compression that I could find Basically it says that if you have different fields that data is in possibly a spread sheet and any of them have only zeros in them then the program just eliminates the data and goes straight from the empty data set to the next Only one step up from null suppression is Run Length Encoding Run length encoding simply tells you how many of what you have in a row It would change a set of binary data like 0011100001 into what the computer reads as 2 zeros 3 ones 4 zeros 1 As you can see it works on the same basic idea of finding a series of 0s null suppression and 1s in this case too and abbreviating them Once the whole idea of data compression caught on more people started working on programs for it From these people we got some new premises to work with Substitution encoding

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