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This article is about pattern recognition in machine learning. For the application of the term in the physiology of perception see: Pattern recognition (physiological psychology)


Pattern recognition is a sub-topic of machine learning. It can be defined as

"the act of taking in raw data and taking an action based on the category of the data" [1].

Most research in pattern recognition is about methods for supervised learning and unsupervised learning.

Pattern recognition aims to classify data (patterns) based on either a priori knowledge or on statistical information extracted from the patterns. The patterns to be classified are usually groups of measurements or observations, defining points in an appropriate multidimensional space.

A complete pattern recognition system consists of a sensor that gathers the observations to be classified or described; a feature extraction mechanism that computes numeric or symbolic information from the observations; and a classification or description scheme that does the actual job of classifying or describing observations, relying on the extracted features.

The classification or description scheme is usually based on the availability of a set of patterns that have already been classified or described. This set of patterns is termed the training set and the resulting learning strategy is characterized as supervised learning. Learning can also be unsupervised, in the sense that the system is not given an a priori labeling of patterns, instead it establishes the classes itself based on the statistical regularities of the patterns.

The classification or description scheme usually uses one of the following approaches: statistical (or decision theoretic), syntactic (or structural). Statistical pattern recognition is based on statistical characterisations of patterns, assuming that the patterns are generated by a probabilistic system. Structural pattern recognition is based on the structural interrelationships of features. A wide range of algorithms can be applied for pattern recognition, from very simple Bayesian classifiers to much more powerful neural networks.

Holographic associative memory is another type of pattern matching scheme where a target small patterns can be searched from a large set of learned patterns based on cognitive meta-weight.

Typical applications are automatic speech recognition, classification of text into several categories (e.g. spam/non-spam email messages), the automatic recognition of handwritten postal codes on postal envelopes, or the automatic recognition of images of human faces. The last two examples form the subtopic image analysis of pattern recognition that deals with digital images as input to pattern recognition systems.

Pattern recognition is more complex when templates are used to generate variants. For example, in English, sentences often follow the "N-VP" (noun - verb phrase) pattern, but some knowledge of the English language is required to detect the pattern. Pattern recognition is studied in many fields, including psychology, ethology, and computer science.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  • Dietrich Paulus and Joachim Hornegger (1998) Applied Pattern Recognition (2nd edition), Vieweg. ISBN 3-528-15558-2
  • J. Schuermann: Pattern Classification: A Unified View of Statistical and Neural Approaches, Wiley&Sons, 1996, ISBN 0-471-13534-8
  • Sholom Weiss and Casimir Kulikowski (1991) Computer Systems That Learn, Morgan Kaufmann. ISBN 1-55860-065-5

External linksEdit

This article was originally based on material from the Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, which is licensed under the GFDL.
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