I am writing about deduplication of person-records in databases. In short, the goal of deduplication is to identify records which refer to the same real world entities and merge them into a single record. In my case these entities are persons.
I think I understand the difference between "dasselbe" and "das gleiche" when it is about things/items. The former refers to physically the same item whereas the latter refers to two items of the same kind. (explained in this post)
I want to express that two persons could be the same, but I'm not certain (yet) that they really are. For example:
Gibt es in Quelle A einen "Max Mustermann" und in Quelle B einen "Maximilian Musterman", stellt sich die Frage ob es sich um dieselbe/die gleiche Person handelt.
Since two database records either refer to the same person or they don't, I'm leaning towards using diesselbe Person.
Unfortunately my confidence got shook: I asked a native speaker and he said that he would write die gleiche Person because it is still uncertain that they really are the same person. He admitted that he is not sure because his answer might be influenced by his knowledge of database deduplication, where it is technically correct to say "Person A and Person B are 90% the same"*
So my questions are:
- Is there a difference between diesselbe Person and die gleiche Person?
- Can a person even be die gleiche as another person? What exactly would that mean, given that there can't be "two persons of the same kind" when it comes to a person's identity?
- Is there a rule I can use? I'm not sure if the "dasselbe/das gleiche"-rules can be applied here in the same way.
Any help is appreciated, thank you.
* Another way of saying that would be: "Person A is the same as Person B with a certainty of 90%".
This means, that the sum of calculated similarities between the two person's attributes (e.g. firstname, lastname and gender) is 90%.