[Numpy-discussion] Here's what I've done to numpy.fft

David Goldsmith d.l.goldsmith@gmail....
Mon Jul 12 21:07:36 CDT 2010

On Mon, Jul 12, 2010 at 6:33 PM, Travis Oliphant <oliphant@enthought.com>wrote:

> On Jul 12, 2010, at 5:47 PM, David Goldsmith wrote:
> > In light of my various questions and the responses thereto, here's what
> I've done (but not yet committed) to numpy.fft.
> >
> > There are many ways to define the DFT, varying in the sign of the
> > exponent, normalization, etc.  In this implementation, the DFT is defined
> > as
> >
> > .. math::
> >    A_k =  \sum_{m=0}^{n-1} a_m \exp\left\{-2\pi i{mk \over n}\right\}
> >    \qquad k = 0,\ldots,n-1
> >
> > where `n` is the number of input points.  In general, the DFT is defined
> > for complex inputs and outputs, and a single-frequency component at
> linear
> > frequency :math:`f` is represented by a complex exponential
> > :math:`a_m = \exp\{2\pi i\,f m\Delta t\}`, where
> > :math:`\Delta t` is the *sampling interval*.
> This sounds very good, but I would not mix discussions of sampling interval
> with the DFT except as an example use case.
> The FFT is an implementation of the DFT, and the DFT is self-contained for
> discrete signals without any discussion of continuous-time frequency or
> sampling interval.   Many applications of the FFT, however, use sampled
> continuous-time signals.
> So, use a_m = \exp\(2\pi j m k\) to describe the single-frequency case.
> If you want to say that k = f\Delta t for a sampled-continuous time signal,
> then that would be fine, but there are plenty of discrete signals that don't
> have any relation to continuous time where an FFT still makes sense.

This is an interesting comment, as the delta t, sampling interval, and
sampling-of-a-continuous-time-signal context are all "inherited" from the
original docstring (I made an effort to clarify the existing content while
still preserving it as much as possible).  If others agree that a more
general presentation is preferable, the docstring *may* require a more
extensive edit (I'll have to go back and re-read the other sections with an
eye specifically to that issue).

> >
> > Note that, due to the periodicity of the exponential function, formally
> > :math:`A_{n-1} = A_{-1}, A_{n-2} = A_{-2}`, etc.  That said, the values
> in
> > the result are in the so-called "standard" order: if ``A = fft(a,n)``,
> > then ``A[0]`` contains the zero-frequency term (the sum of the data),
> > which is always purely real for real inputs.  Then ``A[1:n/2]`` contains
> > the positive-frequency terms, and ``A[n/2+1:]`` contains the
> > negative-frequency (in the sense described above) terms, from least (most
> > negative) to largest (closest to zero).  In particular, for `n` even,
> > ``A[n/2]`` represents both the positive and the negative Nyquist
> > frequencies, and is also purely real for real input.  For `n` odd,
> > ``A[(n-1)/2]`` contains the largest positive frequency, while
> > ``A[(n+1)/2]`` contains the largest (in absolute value) negative
> > frequency.  In both cases, i.e., `n` even or odd, ``A[n-1]`` contains the
> > negative frequency closest to zero.
> >
> > Feedback welcome.
> I would remove "That said, " near the beginning of the paragraph.

Too colloquial? ;-)  NP.

Thanks for the great docs.

Thank you for the encouraging words, and for taking the time and interest.

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