A pattern, from the French patron, is a type of theme of recurring events or objects, sometimes referred to as elements of a set of objects.

The elements of a pattern repeat in a predictable manner. Patterns can be based on a template or model which generates pattern elements, especially if the elements have enough in common for the underlying pattern to be inferred, in which case the things are said to exhibit the unique pattern. There are many different patterns in the world.

The most basic patterns, called Tessellations, are based on repetition and periodicity. In tessellation, a single template, tile, or cell is repeated without change or modification, usually in two dimensions to form a flat patterned surface.

Other patterns, such as Penrose tiling and Pongal or Kolam patterns from India, use symmetry which is a form of finite repetition, instead of translation which can repeat to infinity. Fractal patterns also use magnification or scaling giving an effect known as self-similarity or scale invariance. Some plants, like Ferns, generate a pattern using an affine transformation which combines translation, scaling, rotation and reflection.

A different kind of pattern generator is a simple harmonic oscillator, which produces repeated movements in time.

Pattern matching is the act of checking for the presence of the constituents of a pattern, whereas the detecting for underlying patterns is referred to as pattern recognition. The question of how a pattern emerges is accomplished through the work of the scientific field of pattern formation.

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. Computer science, ethology, and psychology are fields which study patterns.

"A pattern has an integrity independent of the medium by virtue of which you have received the information that it exists. Each of the chemical elements is a pattern integrity. Each individual is a pattern integrity. The pattern integrity of the human individual is evolutionary and not static."
R. Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983), U.S.American philosopher and inventor, in Synergetics: Explorations in the Geometry of Thinking (1975), Pattern Integrity 505.201

Read more about Pattern:  Observable Patterns, Mathematics, Science

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Famous quotes containing the word pattern:

    Why it was that upon this beautiful feminine tissue, sensitive as gossamer, and practically blank as snow as yet, there should have been traced such a coarse pattern as it was doomed to receive; why so often the coarse appropriates the finer thus, the wrong man the woman, the wrong women the man, many years of analytical philosophy have failed to explain to our sense of order.
    Thomas Hardy (1840–1928)

    Swift while the woof is whole,
    turn now my spirit, swift,
    and tear the pattern there,
    the flowers so deftly wrought,
    the border of sea-blue,
    the sea-blue coast of home.
    Hilda Doolittle (1886–1961)

    Although the pattern prevailed,
    The breaks were everywhere. That she could think
    Of no thread capable of the necessary
    Gwendolyn Brooks (b. 1917)