Autocorrelation, also known as serial correlation or cross-autocorrelation, is the cross-correlation of a signal with itself at different points in time (that is what the cross stands for). Informally, it is the similarity between observations as a function of the time lag between them. It is a mathematical tool for finding repeating patterns, such as the presence of a periodic signal obscured by noise, or identifying the missing fundamental frequency in a signal implied by its harmonic frequencies. It is often used in signal processing for analyzing functions or series of values, such as time domain signals.
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