Pattern matching is comparing two patterns in order to determine whether they match (i.e., that they are the same) or do not match (i.e., that they differ). Pattern matching is the core procedure of theory-testing with cases. Testing consists of matching an â€œobserved patternâ€ (a pattern of measured values) with an â€œexpected patternâ€ (a hypothesis), and deciding whether these patterns match (resulting in a confirmation of the hypothesis) or do not match (resulting in a disconfirmation). Essential to pattern matching (as opposed to pattern recognition, which is a procedure by which theory is built) is that the expected pattern is precisely specified before the matching takes place.
theory-testing;case study research;necessary condition;sufficient condition;pattern matching
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