Date: February 2, 2008
Creator: Ignaccolo, Massimiliano; Allegrini, Paolo; Grigolini, Paolo; Hamilton, P. & West, Bruce J.
Description: Paper discussing scaling in non-stationary time series. Abstract: Most data processing techniques, applied to biomedical and sociological time series, are only valid for random fluctuations that are stationary in time. Unfortunately, these data are often non stationary and the use of techniques of analysis resting on the stationary assumption can produce a wrong information on the scaling, and so on the complexity of the process under study. Herein, we test and compare two techniques for removing the non-stationary influences from computer generated time series, consisting of the superposition of a slow signal and a random fluctuation. The former is based on the method of wavelet decomposition, and the latter is a proposal of this paper, denoted by us as step detrending technique. We focus our attention on two cases, when the slow signal is a periodic function mimicking the influence of season, and when it is an aperiodic signal mimicking the influence of a population change (increase or decrease). For the purpose of computational simplicity the random fluctuation is taken to be uncorrelated. However, the detrending techniques here illustrated work also in the case when the random component is correlated. This expectation is fully confirmed by the sociological applications made ...
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