Updated: 8/10/2006; 7:01:47 PM.

Mathemagenic


on personal productivity in knowledge-intensive environments, weblog research, knowledge management, PhD, serendipity and lack of work-life balance...
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  Wednesday, July 05, 2006


  My pattern-recognition techniques

Just a quick reflection on what I (often not thinking about it) do to increase chances of recognising patterns in a mess. Not scientific at all :)

I try to experience the field prior to the whole pattern-recognition exercise (or I get into pattern-recognising for the fields I'm familiar with). Knowledge (often tacit) of how things are/could be creates a bigger picture where new messy data have to fit - contrasting "prior" and "new" helps to see patterns.

I increase the mess by adding variety, more sources, more data. I guess once my brain can't cope anymore with processing the volume it starts clustering things together - and those often turn into patterns.

I decompose to elements: I identify some basic elements/characteristics of the phenomenon and try to figure out more about them. Somehow having details worked out often brings them into a whole picture. 

I search for metaphors in other fields. Especially in the times of being totally lost, I look beyond the field. Usually this means reading unrelated, but interesting books, talking to strange people, taking strange courses... I guess in this case my brain is still working on the original problem in the background, so it finds a way to translate it into whatever other strange field. Once I see the parallels I try to work them out, often finding missing links.

And I talk to people. Articulation of implicit bits and pieces mixed with unpredictability of someone else's mind and fun of a conversation do wonders.

More on: articulation emergence 

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© Copyright 2002-2006 Lilia Efimova.

This weblog is my learning diary. Sometimes I write about things related to my work, but the views expressed here are personal and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.

 
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