Last month's column began a discussion of reference-based systems which continues in this column.

The mix of inputs as well as processing techniques vary from vendor to vendor, so results from the different reference- based systems are not necessarily the same. However, all vendors report significant improvements – often, nearly double the match rates of conventional merge/purge or pattern-based systems. On a reasonably well-maintained file, this might translate into two to eight additional duplicates per one hundred records input. A reference-based system also eliminates the much smaller number of false duplicates that occur when two records are similar enough to match but actually refer to different individuals.

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