Pattern recognition is a topic in machine learning. Of the questions tagged , only a handful are related to machine learning. The rest are of the form "What is the next item in this sequence?" It does not look like the tag is being usefully applied. Should we remove the tag from the other questions, or create an alternate tag for them, or do nothing and allow to be ambiguous?


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As the tag has no wiki summary, I see no current issue with its dual use in covering the fields of machine learning and also the more colloquial "identify this pattern" usage.

Machine learning is a specialized field, open really only to advanced practitioners of applied mathematics and a few engineering disciplines. Math.SE has a more broad audience, and problems like "What follows in the pattern 2,4,6,8,___" are much more likely to arise, if only due to their (IMO unfortunate) frequency of occurrence in elementary education. Problems like this probably need a tag, for that reason, and seems a good a tag as any, really.

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    $\begingroup$ I see what you're saying, but using a term that already has a precise meaning seems unfortunate. It's like if we allowed complex-geometry to be applied to complicated geometry questions just because complex geometry is a specialized topic. (Also, machine learning is a well-established field in computer science and has 95 questions here, but that's tangential to this discussion.) $\endgroup$
    – user856
    Nov 17, 2012 at 9:41
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    $\begingroup$ If we follow the tag-excerpt for (sequences-and-series), which says: "Recurrence relations, convergence tests, identifying sequences"; then this tag should be more suitable for what follows after 2,4,6,8. The pattern-recognition could be more suitable for geometrical, alphabetical and other kinds of patterns. In any case, if some kind of consensus will be reached here in the discussion on meta, the tag-wiki for (pattern-recognition) should be edit to reflect it - so that in the future we have less problems with this tag. $\endgroup$ Nov 17, 2012 at 10:18
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    $\begingroup$ I think sequences-and-series is a large hammer to hit these problems with, and probably not the most appropriate, despite the tag summary. I think that perhaps a "number sequence" or "number pattern" tag might be most appropriate for these types of problems. $\endgroup$
    – Emily
    Nov 17, 2012 at 15:02
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    $\begingroup$ If we are going to create a new tag - or rename (pattern-recognition) - I don't know why it should be restricted to number patterns. We sometimes have also questions about patterns in sequence of geometrical figures. (I mean the type questions which often appears in various intelligence tests, see e.g. this question or this Wikipedia article.) $\endgroup$ Nov 18, 2012 at 7:27

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