Thursday, March 02, 2006

An Actual Application of Fractal Dimension

According to this story, and others, a trove of 32 paintings, purported to be Jackson Pollocks, was discovered last year. But many people had doubts about whether or not they were really by the master of paint pouring or not. So a physicist, Richard Taylor, used some software to compute the fractal dimension of Pollock's paintings and compare them to these new paintings. It turned out that the fractal dimension didn't fit in with the trend of Pollock's work and hence they look like fakes.

Of course, me mentioning this fact isn't intended to be an endorsement of the reliability of these methods. I put as much trust in them as I'd put in using catastrophe theory to navigate my way through a prison riot.

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