Royal Society Publishing

A study of the characteristics of white noise using the empirical mode decomposition method

Zhaohua Wu , Norden E. Huang


Based on numerical experiments on white noise using the empirical mode decomposition (EMD) method, we find empirically that the EMD is effectively a dyadic filter, the intrinsic mode function (IMF) components are all normally distributed, and the Fourier spectra of the IMF components are all identical and cover the same area on a semi–logarithmic period scale. Expanding from these empirical findings, we further deduce that the product of the energy density of IMF and its corresponding averaged period is a constant, and that the energy–density function is chi–squared distributed. Furthermore, we derive the energy–density spread function of the IMF components. Through these results, we establish a method of assigning statistical significance of information content for IMF components from any noisy data. Southern Oscillation Index data are used to illustrate the methodology developed here.

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