Data-driven nonstationary signal decomposition approaches: a comparative analysis

Thomas Eriksen, Naveed ur Rehman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Signal decomposition (SD) approaches aim to decompose non-stationary signals into their constituent amplitude- and frequency-modulated components. This represents an important preprocessing step in many practical signal processing pipelines, providing useful knowledge and insight into the data and relevant underlying system(s) while also facilitating tasks such as noise or artefact removal and feature extraction. The popular SD methods are mostly data-driven, striving to obtain inherent well-behaved signal components without making many prior assumptions on input data. Among those methods include empirical mode decomposition and variants, variational mode decomposition and variants, synchrosqueezed transform and variants and sliding singular spectrum analysis. With the increasing popularity and utility of these methods in wide-ranging applications, it is imperative to gain a better understanding and insight into the operation of these algorithms, evaluate their accuracy with and without noise in input data and gauge their sensitivity against algorithmic parameter changes. In this work, we achieve those tasks through extensive experiments involving carefully designed synthetic and real-life signals. Based on our experimental observations, we comment on the pros and cons of the considered SD algorithms as well as highlighting the best practices, in terms of parameter selection, for the their successful operation. The SD algorithms for both single- and multi-channel (multivariate) data fall within the scope of our work. For multivariate signals, we evaluate the performance of the popular algorithms in terms of fulfilling the mode-alignment property, especially in the presence of noise.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1798
JournalScientific Reports
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


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