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in reply to Groups of Objects with Common Attributes

#!/usr/local/bin/perl -w use strict; my %things = ( "apple" => ["red", "round", "plant", "fruit"], "orange" => ["orange", "round", "plant", "fruit"], "pumpkin" => ["orange", "round", "plant", "vegetable"], "ball" => ["red", "round", "toy"], ); my %kinds; # # here we populate %kinds hash with kinds from %things, but of course # in real life we should do it while populating %things hash # foreach my $t (keys %things) { foreach my $k (@{$things{$t}}) { $kinds{$k}{$t} = 1; } } # search for "red round plant" my @search = split (' ',"red round plant"); my %kinds_slice; # # we can use slice here only because kinds are strings # if your kinds are not strings - well, it's another story # @kinds_slice{@search} = @kinds{@search}; my %things_sort; # # this is boring "count it" loop, but hey, # we're counting only %kinds_slice, not the whole/all %kinds! # foreach my $kind (keys %kinds_slice) { foreach my $thing (keys %{ $kinds_slice{$kind} }) { $things_sort{$thing}++; } } # # all things that match search, sorted # print "Matches:\n",join ("\n",map {"$_: $things_sort{$_}"} sort { $thi +ngs_sort{$b} <=> $things_sort{$a} } keys %things_sort),"\n\n"; # # or just get the first value to get best match # my @matches = sort { $things_sort{$b} <=> $things_sort{$a} } keys %thi +ngs_sort ; print "Best match: ".$matches[0]."\n Score: ".$things_sort{$matches[0] +}."\n";