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Pattern recognition
Answer
5/3/18 8:42 AM
I'm wondering how to increase my pattern recognition skills. I stumled on Bongard problems and have a hunch they might be useful as tool in my endeavour.

Below is an example:



Boxes on the left conform to a certain "rule" and boxes on the right conform to a different rule. Problem is to find both rules. 

For the problem above, rules are:
- left: 1 level of nesting (branches only from root)
- right: 2 levels of nesting (branches from root and other branches)

Here are more problems: http://www.foundalis.com/res/bps/bongard/p001.htm

I
'm interested how other people's minds solve these problems? For me it's:
1. stare at boxes
2. become aware of an potential solution (hypothesis)
3. check hypothesis for the left side
4. if incorrect, start from 1.
5. if correct, find rule for right side, assuming it's similar in structure to the left side's rule

The problematic part is step 2, because it's not conscious. Any ideas how to unpack it?

RE: Pattern recognition
Answer
5/3/18 5:12 PM as a reply to Paul Smith.
For me step 2 consists of determining a list of attributes about each object, and then trying to find attributes that are common across all six images.

Have you read Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid by any chance?  If you have then you probably know why I'm asking and if you haven't I think it would interest you based on this post.  Douglas Hofstadter attempts to explain how self referential systems lead to consciousness from unconscious individual parts.  He writes about AI, and there is a whole chapter where he goes into the details of how an intelligence would go about solving Bongard problems.

RE: Pattern recognition
Answer
5/4/18 3:30 AM as a reply to Paul Smith.
I'm sure mindfulness and vipassana play a big role here. Also I wonder if doing seemingly non-related activities such as playing a musical instrument, drawing/painting or playing difficult puzzle games that require complex pattern recognition would be helpful. I'm sure a balance between pattern recognition as a type of slow analytical activity like the Bongard problems would be well to be balanced with something requiring more real-time interactive pattern recognition that require working with the body's movements such as jiujitsu or music.

Also dual-n-back training might help. Dual-n-back requires you to store increasingly large strings of information in your working memory (meaning your conscious memory) and to replace information within the sets incrementally, I'm sure this would contribute to ones ability to recognise and work with patterns. I'm a big fan of this version: http://brainworkshop.sourceforge.net and found playing it every day as part of my post-meditation morning routine to be helpful for my concentration, mindfulness etc.

Doing activities in which you can measure progress should be helpful. Maybe also just listening to music with complex patterns with extreme attentivity and attempting to parse it mentally / on paper would be helpful, like some complex jazz or postmodern classical music or metal with polyrhythms etc. 

RE: Pattern recognition
Answer
5/4/18 8:47 AM as a reply to Andrew S.
I like the suggestions of music and kinaethetic activities like martial arts--totally on point. So many ways to cultivate pattern recognition skills. I like just taking a walk through nature--noticing the ways that trees branch, flowers grow petals, leaves develop, etc. Or in cities looking at the architecture--lots of patterns there. Or you can go to an art museum, or a museum of natural history. Make a hobby of pattern recognition and you'll start to see them everywhere.

I LOVE Hofstadter's Eternal Golden Braid: it introduced me to Godel's Incompleteness Theorem which totally blew my mind. There's actually a great graphic novel called Logicomix that is a more or less historical account of the foundations of formal logic via the perspective of Bertrand Russell and Kurt Godel makes an appearance along with Ludwig Wittgenstein, Georg Cantor and some other major players. It's a very compelling read that might set your brain on fire if you have not yet come into contact with some of the meta-patterns described in it (no skill at mathematics required).

RE: Pattern recognition
Answer
5/4/18 10:38 AM as a reply to Paul Smith.
https://meaningness.com/metablog/bongard-meta-rationality

RE: Pattern recognition
Answer
5/4/18 10:42 AM as a reply to rik.
rik,

I read GEB - that's how I found these problems. Author does a good job of explaining Goedel's theorem in simple terms. I find his speculations interesting. At the same time, I don't see any verifiable product (like AI) or predictions, so it's just cool stories.

Andrew,

I found an analysis for dual-n-back here: https://www.gwern.net/DNB-FAQ#personal-reflection-on-results (mixed opinions)

Andromeda,

I'll check out Logicomix, thanks.


I tried learning violin and the main obstacle seems to be body tension - interoception seems to be switched off - it's hard to precisely control the sound, when there's very little feedback from muscles. There's so many variables to be aware of and balance - I can see how it can be very useful. If anyone wants to pick up the practice: I recommend using a mirror to keep the correct posture and Intonia software for hitting the correct sounds (frequencies), if you have trouble with identifying them.

RE: Pattern recognition
Answer
5/7/18 9:35 AM as a reply to Paul Smith.
Paul Smit:

Andrew,

I found an analysis for dual-n-back here: https://www.gwern.net/DNB-FAQ#personal-reflection-on-results (mixed opinions)


Interesting, did you read all the way through it? Too dense for me to get through. With this type of thing at the end of the day I think its your subjective results that count

Just thought I'd pop this in here incase OP or anyone is into the complex music thing. My polyrhythm listening skills are too low to "count-along" with music like this but I enjoy just capturing the whole sonic experience as it is.
Can be v good concentration/pattern practice to try following along to just the snare (including ghost notes) or just the kick drums etc.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fp1aLl9FfcQ Matt Garstka "Physical Education - Animals as Leaders" drum playthrough