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Signature files and inverted files are well-known index structures. In this paper we undertake a direct comparison of the two for searching for partially-specified queries in a large lexicon stored in main memory. Using n-grams to index lexicon terms, a bit-sliced signature file can be compressed to a smaller size than an inverted file if each n-gram sets only one bit in the term signature. With a signature width less than half the number of unique n-grams in the lexicon, the signature filedoi:10.1016/j.ipm.2003.12.003 fatcat:ndkoxvtxuff7dptnhybzxrz5ja