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analysis by synthesis

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A recognition process in which hypotheses are formulated and compared with input data until one of the hypotheses produces a match. This is how experienced crossword-puzzle solvers often identify words with missing letters, for example, if the clue is Via the middle route in South America, a solver who knows that the answer is a four-letter word with the form — E — U may be unable to work out the logic of the clue but may guess that the answer is the name of a South American city or country and may test various hypotheses until finding one that fits, namely PERU. It involves both bottom-up processing and top-down processing.

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