[SciPy-dev] fft

Pearu Peterson pearu at cens.ioc.ee
Mon Feb 10 15:05:36 CST 2003

On Mon, 10 Feb 2003, Chuck Harris wrote:

> I was playing around with the fft programs in fftpack and fftw and
> noticed that the real transforms return the coefficients in different
> formats. If rk,ik are the real and imaginary components of the k'th
> Fourier coefficient, then
> fftpack: [r0,r1,i1,.....,rm] 
> 	where rm is absent in odd length transforms
> fftw: [r0,r1,...,i2,i1]
> 	where again rm is absent in odd length transforms

There is no need to use fftw package anymore. Current scipy.fftpack
uses fftw libraries if available.

Btw, scipy.fftpack uses the same convention for real transforms
that is used in fftpack from netlib.

> Besides the incompatibility of the forms, neither is of much use
> in Numeric, where the coefficients would preferably be exposed as an
> array of complex. Of course they do have the virtue that the number
> of (real) components is exactly equal to the number of points
> transformed.

There are better reasons to keep real and imaginary parts separate
than the above. For instance, in pseudo-spectral methods for integrating
PDEs it is essential to minimize floating point operations that, in
general, are the main source of numerical noise causing possible stability
problems for integrators. Provided that functions, being subjects to
integration, are real valued, finding their derivatives using FFT
method that returns real/imaginary parts separately, takes twice
less number of floating point operations than if FFT would return generic
array of complex numbers.

> However, I think the best solution would be to return
> a complex array [r0+i0j,r1+i1j,...]. In this case i0==0 and when 
> the number of samples is even im==0 also. This means that the length
> of the returned complex array is n//2 + 1, which may seem a bit
> inconvenient, but the result is then easy to use in Numeric for 
> such things as convolution, amplitude, and phase. 

You can safely use scipy.fftpack.fft function if complex result is
needed, just take the first half of the resulting array. Note that
scipy.fftpack.fft takes into account if the input array  is real and then
a more efficient algorithm is used for calculating FT.

> By the way, what happened to the other fft package that was being
> discussed?

What other fft package?


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