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While various approaches are suggested in the literature to describe and generalize relaxation processes concerning to several objectives, the wider problem addressed here is to find the best-suited relaxation process for a given assignment problem, or better still, to construct a task-dependent relaxation process. For this, we develop a general framework for the theoretical foundations of relaxation processes in pattern recognition. The resulting structure enables (1) a description of all known relaxation processes in general terms and (2) the design of task-dependent relaxation processes. We show that the well-known standard relaxation formulas verify our approach. Referring to the common problem of generating a generalized description of a contour we demonstrate the applicability of the suggested generalization in detail. Important characteristics of the constructed task-dependent relaxation process are: (1) the independency of the segmentation from any parameters, (2) the invariance to geometric transformations, (3) the simplicity, and (4) efficiency.