Pattern matching

Table of contents

Automate your business at $5/day with Engati

Switch to Engati: Smarter choice for WhatsApp Campaigns 🚀
Pattern Matching

What is pattern matching?

Pattern matching is the technique that identifies specific patterns or sequences or a combination of characters within a larger piece of information.


Take an example of searching for a specific word in the book. You can use pattern matching to find all instances of that word present in the book.

Applications of pattern matching include identification of phrases within the larger text, finding specific shapes within an image, distinguish sound patterns in the spoken language, search all instances of a particular gene within the larger set of DNA sequences, etc.

Basically, pattern matching helps us in information retrieval from complex datasets, for implementing in fields such as data science, machine learning, & bioinformatics.

What is pattern matching in regular expression?

A regular expression (rational expression) is a sequence of characters that defines a search pattern that is used to match patterns of characters within a larger piece of text.

For example - if you want to search "Voila" in a piece of text, you can use the regular expression /voila/ to define the search pattern.

Regular expressions can also be used to match the patterns of characters based on some specific rules or constraints - for e.g. - characters that occur within parentheses, or the characters that are followed by a punctuation mark.

Regular expressions are used in many programming languages & text editors, as they allow for sophisticated searches & manipulations of text data. Common applications include text processing, programming, data mining, data validation & natural language processing.

What are pattern matching algorithms?


Pattern matching algorithms are the algorithms that are designed to search for specific patterns within the larger dataset.

The most common pattern matching algorithms are:

1. Naive string matching algorithm - compares character by character. Slow & inefficient for large data sets.

2. Knuth-Morris-Pratt algorithm - compares the structure of the search pattern. Faster for large data sets.

3. Bayer-Moore algorithm - scans the pattern from right to left using pre-computed tables to determine the next possible match location.

4. Regular expression matching algorithms - designed specifically for matching patterns defined by regular expressions.

5. Aho-Corasick algorithm - searches multiple patterns in a single pass.

6. Rabin-Karp algorithm - computes a hash value for the search pattern, & then compares this hash value to the hash values of all possible patterns in the text.

7. Smith-Waterman algorithm - scores all possible alignments between two sequences & then identifies the highest-scoring alignment.

8. Levenshtein distance algorithm - computes the edit distance between two sequences, where each edit is a deletion, insertion, or substitution of a single character. Generally used in spell-checking & auto-correction.

By using these pattern matching algorithms in data structure, we can accurately & efficiently match the patterns in complex data sets.

3x your revenue with Chatbots and Live Chat
Schedule a demo

How does pattern matching work?


Here are the steps:

  1. Defining the pattern - Use regular expressions, keywords, phrases, or other pattern definitions to define the sequence you want to search for.
  2. Selecting the dataset - Identify where will you search your sequence. It could be a text file, image, DNA sequence, or any other type of data.
  3. Applying the pattern matching algorithm - Depending on the pattern you're searching for, and the characteristics of the dataset, apply the relevant pattern matching algorithm.
  4. Analyzing the results - Depending on the application, you need to analyze the results that are achieved, and process them to extract meaningful insights or information.

What is pattern matching in ML?

With regards to machine learning, pattern matching is generally used in developing predictive models that are able to make accurate predictions based on the input data.

Common pattern matching approaches in machine learning are - Supervised learning, Unsupervised learning, & Reinforcement learning.


1. Supervised learning - The machine learning algorithm is trained on a labelled dataset, where each data point is associated with a specific label or output.

2. Unsupervised learning - The machine learning algorithm is trained on an unlabelled dataset, where no output labels are provided.

3. Reinforcement learning - The machine learning algorithm learns through the method of trial & error. The algorithm makes the prediction, receives the feedback, and them implements it again for the next prediction.

Using pattern matching in machine learning, we can develop predictive models that can be used in image recognition, image analysis, natural language processing, fraud detection, predictive maintenance, etc.

What are the applications of pattern matching?

  1. Natural language processing - spelling & grammar checks, sentiment analysis
  2. Computer vision - tumor identification
  3. Bioinformatics - sequence alignment, gene prediction, metagenomics
  4. Predictive maintenance - sensor data analysis, failure prediction, root cause analysis
  5. Fraud detection - anomaly detection, behaviour analysis
  6. Speech recognition - phoneme recognition, accent recognition, speaker identification
  7. Search engines - query matching, ranking algorithm, auto-complete
  8. Time series analysis - seasonal pattern identification, forecasting
  9. Robotics - object detection & tracking, gesture recognition, autonomous driving
  10. Recommender systems - content-based filtering, exploratory recommendation
  11. Music analysis - chord recognition, music recommendation, genre classification
  12. Social media analysis - sentiment analysis, trend analysis, topic modelling
  13. Quality control - signal processing, process monitoring
  14. Medical diagnosis - image analysis, radiology, pathology
  15. Security - intrusion detection, malware detection, fraud detection, fingerprint identification
  16. Financial analysis - stock market analysis, credit risk analysis
  17. Internet Of Things - predictive maintenance, energy management

Close Icon
Request a Demo!
Get started on Engati with the help of a personalised demo.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
*only for sharing demo link on WhatsApp
Thanks for the information.
We will be shortly getting in touch with you.
Oops! something went wrong!
For any query reach out to us on
Close Icon
Congratulations! Your demo is recorded.

Select an option on how Engati can help you.

I am looking for a conversational AI engagement solution for the web and other channels.

I would like for a conversational AI engagement solution for WhatsApp as the primary channel

I am an e-commerce store with Shopify. I am looking for a conversational AI engagement solution for my business

I am looking to partner with Engati to build conversational AI solutions for other businesses

Close Icon
You're a step away from building your Al chatbot

How many customers do you expect to engage in a month?

Less Than 2000


More than 5000

Close Icon
Thanks for the information.

We will be shortly getting in touch with you.

Close Icon

Contact Us

Please fill in your details and we will contact you shortly.

This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
Thanks for the information.
We will be shortly getting in touch with you.
Oops! Looks like there is a problem.
Never mind, drop us a mail at