hi,

i apologise up front for the vagueness of this question!

i collect various data types(primarily odds from betting exchanges) and graph this data which all looks very pretty.

from the graphs i can visually identify trends etc... such as sudden/longer term movements

The problem i have is that i now need to develop an application that can interpret the graph and automatically identify the trends that are occurring.

I've looked into areas such as rates of change(slopes), differential calculus, moving averages etc... all in an attempt to find a way of defining the graph/curve at certain points and over a specified period.

admittedly this is not an area that i have any great experience in. so i find myself guessing a lot and am not sure where to focus in on to make any progress.

so the question i have is, as a general rule what areas should be focussed on when attempting to define a curve.

i realise that the answer to this question is dependant on the data being analysed, but i'm really looking for a starting point.

for example, am i better concentrating on rates of change over ceratin periods. what does finding the derivative at various points really tell me? a

any and all suggestions are welcome!

again, sorry about being so vague!

regards