Published on Mon Nov 23 2009

How slow is slow? SFA detects signals that are slower than the driving force

Wolfgang Konen, Patrick Koch

Slow feature analysis (SFA) is a method for extracting slowly varying driving forces from quickly varying nonstationary time series. We show that it is possible for SFA to detect a component which is even slower than the driving force itself.

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Abstract

Slow feature analysis (SFA) is a method for extracting slowly varying driving forces from quickly varying nonstationary time series. We show here that it is possible for SFA to detect a component which is even slower than the driving force itself (e.g. the envelope of a modulated sine wave). It is shown that it depends on circumstances like the embedding dimension, the time series predictability, or the base frequency, whether the driving force itself or a slower subcomponent is detected. We observe a phase transition from one regime to the other and it is the purpose of this work to quantify the influence of various parameters on this phase transition. We conclude that what is percieved as slow by SFA varies and that a more or less fast switching from one regime to the other occurs, perhaps showing some similarity to human perception.

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