A surprisingly common problem in both application development and analysis is: given an input name, find the database record it most likely refers to. It's common because databases of names and people are common, and it's a problem because names are a very irregular identifying token.
The page "Falsehoods Programmers Believe About Names" covers some of the ways names are hard to deal with in programming. This post will ignore most of those complexities, and deal with the problem of matching up loose user input to a database of names.
Source: Fuzzy Name Matching in Postgres, an article by Paul Ramsey.