Patterns within Pattern-less Sequences

Essay, 2012

3 Pages, Grade: 4.00 (A)


Patterns within Pattern-less Sequences

Bradley S. Tice

Advanced Human Design, P.O.Box 3868 Turlock, California 95381 USA

While Kolmogorov complexity, also known as Algorithmic Information Theory, defines a measure of randomness as being pattern-less in a sequence of a binary string, such rubrics come into question when sub-groupings are used as a measure of such patterns in a similar sequence of a binary string. This paper examines such sub-group patterns and finds questions raised about existing measures for a random binary string. PACS Numbers: 89.70tc, 89.20Ff, 89.70tc, 84.40Ua

Qualities of randomness and non-randomness have their origins with the work of von Mises in the area of probability and statistics1. While most experts feel all random probabilities are by nature actually pseudo-random in nature, a sub-field of statistical communication theory, also known as information theory, has developed a standard measure of randomness known as Kolmogorov randomness, also known as Martin-Lof randomness, that was developed in the 1960’s [2,3& 4]. This sub-field of information theory is known as Algorithmic Information Theory5. What makes this measure of randomness, and non-randomness, so distinct is the notion of patterns, and pattern less, sequences of 1’s and 0’s in a string of binary symbols6. In other words, perceptual patterns as seen in a sequence of objects that can be defined as having similar sub-groupings within the body of the sequence that have a frequency, depending on the length of the string, of either regularity, non-randomness, or infrequency, randomness, within the sequence itself7.

In examining the classical notion of a random and non-random set of 1’s and 0’s in two examples of a sequence of binary strings, the pattern verses pattern-less qualities can be examined.

Example #1 is as follows: [111000111000111] and Example #2 is as follows: [110111001000011]. It is clear than Example #1 is more patterned than Example #2 in that Example #1 has a balanced sub-groups of three characters, either all 1’s or all 0’s, that have a perceptual regularity. Example #2 is a classical model of a sequence of a random binary string in that the sub-groups, if grouped into like, or similar, characters, either all 1’s or all 0’s like in Example #1, the frequency of the types of characters, either 1’s or 0’s, is different, seven variations of groups as opposed to the five variations in Example #1, as are the subgroups: [(11), (0), (111), (00), (1), (0000), & (11)] from Example #2. While this would support the pattern verses pattern-less model proposed by Kolmogorov complexity, there is a striking result from these two examples, #1 and #2, in that the second, or random, example, Example #2, has a pattern within the sub-groups, that for all perceptual accounts, has distinct qualities that can be used to measure the nature of randomness on a sub-grouped level on examination of a binary string.

The author has done early work on coding each of the sub-groups and reducing them to a compressed state, and then decompressing them with no loss to either the amount of frequency or number of characters to a sequence of a binary string that would be considered random by Kolmogorov complexity8. Now, while this simple program of compression and decompression by the author is for a future paper, the real interest of this paper is on the sub-groups as they stand without the notion of compression.

The very idea of the notion of a patterned or pattern-less quality as found in the measure of such aspects to the sub-groupings of 1’s and 0’s in a sequence of a binary string has the quality of being a bit vague, in that both Example #1 and Example #2 are patterned, in that they have a frequency and similar character sub-groupings that have a known measure and quality that can be quantified in both examples. This is more than a question of semantics as the very nature of the measure of Kolmogorov complexity is the very fact that it has a perceptual ‘pattern’ to measure the randomness of a sequence of a binary string. In reviewing the literature on the notions of patterns in Kolmogorov complexity/Algorithmic Information Theory the real question arises, which patterns qualify for status as random, especially as a measure in a sequence of a binary string?


1 Knuth, D.E., The Art of Computer Programming: Volume 2 Semi numerical Algorithms (Addison-Wesley Publishers, Reading), 1997, p. 149.

2 Knuth, D.E., The Art of Computer Programming: Volume 2 Semi numerical Programming (Addison-Wesley Publishers, Reading), 1997, p. 169-170.

3 Shannon, C.E., Bell Labs. Tech. Jour. 27, (1948), 379-423 & 623- 656.

4 Li, M. and Vitanyi, P., An Introduction to Kolmogorov Complexity and Its Applications (Springer, New York), 1997, p. 186.

5 M. Ge, The New Encyclopedia Britannica (Encyclopedia Britannica, Chicago), 2005, p.637.

6 Martin-Lof, P., Infor. And Contr., 9.6 (1966), 602-619.

7 Uspensky, V.A., ’An introduction to the theory of kolmogorov complexity’ edited by Watanabe, O. Kolmogorov Complexity and Computational Complexity (Springer-Verlag, Berlin), 1992,p. 87.

8 Tice, B.S., Formal Constraints to Formal Languages (AuthorHouse, Bloomington), in press.

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Patterns within Pattern-less Sequences
Algorithmic Complexity
4.00 (A)
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patterns, pattern-less, sequences
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Professor Bradley Tice (Author), 2012, Patterns within Pattern-less Sequences, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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