Autocorrelation is the cross-correlation of a signal with itself.

Informally, it is the similarity between observations as a function of the time separation between them. It is a mathematical tool for finding repeating patterns, such as the presence of a periodic signal which has been buried under 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.

Source: Wikipedia.

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