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For signature files we propose a new false drop estimation method for databases with varying record lengths. Our approach provides more accurate estimation of the number of false drops by considering the lengths of individual records instead of using the average number of terms per record. In signature file processing, accurate estimation of the number of false drops is essential to obtain a more accurate signature file and therefore to obtain a better (query) response time. With a formal proofdoi:10.1093/comjnl/42.1.11 fatcat:nkjf4v7tpzc3tba6edm2jairgi