Saturday, September 22, 2012

Pattern-matching is the new frontier

I've been saying this for years. There are patterns all around us, often taking place in disparate arenas, that describe the same information (arcs, trends, distribution, etc.). Here's an excerpt from a new one that's just been found in sports.
Rankings are a direct measure of a player or a team's performance and come in different forms. Some sports are ranked using a points system, while others are ranked using earnings. By statistically analyzing the rankings and plotting them onto graphs, the researchers found that the distributions for each sport were almost identical.

In the past, research has shown that the frequency of words in different texts, the size of cities and people's income all abide by the same power law.

In all of the sports analyzed, 20 per cent of the players possessed 80 per cent of the total scores of the whole system.
These patterns surround us in our daily lives but we don't see them. As more and more are identified, the relationships between all sorts of seemingly unconnected things will become clear, and this will point the way to yet more powerful "power laws". A giant leap in understanding will come our way when tie these links together. It's the final frontier.

Patterns, patterns everywhere. This means something, kids.