Simple pattern recognition --- find a particular polygon on ...
I'm processing hundreds of "dot clouds" (i.e. a list of (x, y) coords.) for a very simple pattern recognition. The clouds are takes from an instrument which records the location of objects (imagining taking a photo of a lot of stars). The objects do not change their places but the *instrument* does. Hopefully, the instrument only does translational movements on the plane perpendicular to its line of view, and only negligible rotation/zooming/distortion is present. Now I have a "template" which records a few reference points' positions, and I try to find these points "amid the crowd of stars" by using their relative positions/configurations.
Of course I can try the brute-force search but there are caveats:
* The measurements contain errors, both random error and optical aberration, even bogus points when there really weren't anything.
* The instrument is not very reliable. One or a few of the targets may be shifted out of the Field of View.
* The "template" is sparse while the "clouds" are crowded. If there are more than one group of matching objects, all of them should be found.
I think this is not quite a big algorithm challenge, but I'm not familiar with this kind of problems. I don't know where to get started. If you have links, search keywords or any related ideas, I would be very glad to hear from you.
Thanks in advance.
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