Fingerprint (computing)

In computer science, a fingerprinting algorithm is a procedure that maps an arbitrarily large data item (such as a computer file) to a much shorter bit string, its fingerprint, that uniquely identifies the original data for all practical purposes just as human fingerprints uniquely identify people for practical purposes. This fingerprint may be used for data deduplication purposes. Fingerprints are typically used to avoid the comparison and transmission of bulky data.

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