We introduce new techniques for compressing inverted indexes that exploit this near-copy regularity. They are based on run-length, Lempel-Ziv, or grammar compression of the differential inverted lists, instead of the usual practice of gap-encoding them. We show that, in this highly repetitive setting, our compression methods significantly reduce the space obtained with classical techniques, at the price of moderate slowdowns. Moreover, our best methods are universal, that is, they do not need to know the versioning structure of the collection, nor that a clear versioning structure even exists.
We also introduce compressed self-indexes in the comparison. These are designed for general strings (not only natural language texts) and represent the text collection plus the index structure (not an inverted index) in integrated form. We show that these techniques can compress much further, using a small fraction of the space required by our new inverted indexes. Yet, they are orders of magnitude slower.