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A conceptual framework for an analytic theory of form or shape is presented. It is demonstrated that by using various statistics on the chords of a pattern objective measures of pattern features can be obtained. The autocorrelation function of the patterns is one such statistic, and it is shown how the autocorrelation function can be exploited to enhance and/or extract pattern features. One of the interesting facets of the theory is that it can be implemented using a parallel processing type of computer.