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Carlos D. Martínez-Hinarejos, Alfons Juan, Francisco Casacuberta. Median strings for k-nearest neighbour classification. Pattern Recognition Letters., 2003. Vol. 24 pp. 173-181.

Modelling a (large) set of garbled patterns with a prototype is an important issue in pattern recognition. When strings are used as object representations, the representative prototype can be a (generalized) median string. The median string of a set of strings can be defined as the string that minimizes the sum of distances to the strings of a given set. The search of such a string is a NP-Hard problem and, therefore, no efficient algorithms to compute the median strings can be designed. Thus, the use of the set median string, which is the string in the set that minimizes the sum of distances to the string of the set, is very common.