Patterns recognition plays a very important roles in our lives. We spot patterns to make sense of something that we do. Patterns can quickly tells us if something is right or wrong and this is really useful. From the patterns, we try to forecast the next probable outcomes. In stock markets, charts are used to trade stocks and spotting chart patterns is an integral part of the process. Patters recognition is based on the assumption that history tend to repeat itself. Do patterns keep reappearing and producing the same outcome? I am not sure about the stock market but in other areas that I am more familiar such as plant engineering I can see that certain patterns keep producing the same outcomes and this really comes in handy to plant people.
In oil and gas facilities, engineers & technicians monitor process conditions everyday. Looking at these process trends day in day out, they develop the knack for what is right & wrong with the process. This ability to spot patterns is really useful as it allows them to quickly identify process instabilities & upsets without much analysis. Swift actions can then be taken that could prevent things from getting worse. Apart from the process trends display on screens, plant operators have the feel of what is right & wrong when they walk around the plant. This feel comes from patterns that process equipment have when they are running fine or otherwise. By recognizing these patterns, operators can look for telltale signs of process equipment performance. These signals can be further verified by various field measurement & test techniques to ascertain the problems. Patterns recognition enables operators to quickly identify knotty plant problems with remarkable insights and this saves time in troubleshooting.
Patterns recognition in day to day plant operations are consistent as physical properties of processes behave according to physical laws & keep behaving the same if the governing conditions remain the same. On the other hand, stimulus and response in humans is unlike inanimate objects. Human behavior is a lot more involved and I shall leave the nitty gritty of human psychology to respective subject matter experts.