Six of one, half a dozen of the other
November 28, 2004 3:40 PM   Subscribe

Bongard problems are a benchmark of sorts for visual pattern recognition; they're also just fun puzzles, and this guy has got the definitive collection.
posted by Wolfdog (9 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Do you just have to 'know' the difference or be able to geometrically state it? For example, I can see what's happening in this one, but don't have to vocabulary to explain... (maybe 'none of the shapes on the left have a point that intersects with a line drawn through the shortest distance of two other points on the shape'..)

Any program that can solve these is mindblowing...
posted by Firas at 4:19 PM on November 28, 2004 [1 favorite]

Fantastic. Thanks.

Firas: Drawings on the left are convex figures.
posted by Gyan at 4:25 PM on November 28, 2004

No, as long as you feel you could distinguish between the two groups well enough to decide which side a new cadidate belonged on, you've got it solved. There can be more than one good solution -- and lots of ways of expressing the same essential solution -- but all of these that I've played with have at least one good, satisfying solution for me.

He addreses your question a bit in the solution to that very puzzle.
posted by Wolfdog at 4:27 PM on November 28, 2004

That was actually pretty fun. I'm amused that I got a bit upset with myself when I couldn't figure out a couple of them. DAMN YOU, BONGARD!
posted by jenovus at 5:19 PM on November 28, 2004

It reminds me of the classic Brainwave puzzles. One of these things is not like the others.
posted by euphorb at 5:55 PM on November 28, 2004

Woops, there goes my primitive frustration.
posted by bonaldi at 7:03 PM on November 28, 2004

Awesome post. I read a great paper on Bongard problems last year for a seminar in evolutionary psychology; I'll see if I can find it so that I can give a link.
posted by painquale at 7:07 PM on November 28, 2004

I tend to be rather good at puzzles like this, so doing them makes me feel rather good about myself. For no satisfactory reason - it's not as though you're actually accomplishing anything.
posted by Prince Nez at 8:46 PM on November 28, 2004

Thanks, Wolfdog; I love this. Now, if we could just put together M.M. Bongard with Hermann Bongard, we'd have the coolest Bongard puzzles ever.
posted by taz at 2:02 AM on November 29, 2004

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