FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)
Q. Who should learn about wavelet analysis?
A. Anyone who uses Fourier Analysis, the FFT, or any similar method to try to better understand and use their data. Learning about Wavelet Analysis will allow you a much more complete understanding of your data and how to work with it in a cost-effective manner.
Q. I already use the Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) and it seems to work great. Why do I need Wavelets?
A. Fourier Transforms ARE great if your signal is a constant frequency. But if the signal varies or it has pulses or blips or anything that happens at a particular time you are missing a bet by not knowing how to use Wavelets. Wavelets give you information about the frequency of an interesting transient event AND also tell you when it occurred and what it looks like! Wavelets act as a “microscope” to analyze interesting data.
Q. I’ve heard there are many types of Wavelets. How would I know which one to use?
A. In this practical guide, we show you which Wavelets to use (and how to use them) for specific applications. The Strengths and Weaknesses of the various Wavelets are clearly outlined. Wavelets are extremely adaptable, however, and you can usually get by very nicely with choosing a less-than-perfect Wavelet. The only unwise--and costly--choice is to avoid Wavelets entirely because of an abundant selection.
Q. Do I have to make my own Wavelets to match my data?
A. You can do this and we show you how, but in most cases there are ready-made Wavelets with wonderful properties that will do as good or a better job for you. Once you have loaded your signal or image into the software, you can quickly experiment with existing Wavelets or try your own.
Q. Doesn't Wavelet Analysis involve some pretty heavy-duty math?
A. This approach is vastly different from traditional "Applied Mathematics" courses or books in that we use examples, figures, and demonstrations to show how to understand and use Wavelets. This is a very complete and in-depth treatment of the subject, but from an intuitive, conceptual point of view. We let you look at a few key equations (at a high-school algebra level)--but only AFTER the concepts are understood. Then if you desire further study from traditional texts, this allows you to recognize these equations and understand in advance how they relate to the real world.
Q. Does the Wavelet transform actually perform better than the FFT?
A. For some signals, Wavelets vastly outperform the FFT. For others, the FFT is the better choice. We show you when (and how) to use Wavelets and when to stick with the FFT so you’re not “Eating Steak with a Spoon or Soup with a Fork”.
Q. How can I be sure I’m not misusing or misinterpreting Wavelet data?
A. As with any technology, blindly following equations out of context without understanding the concepts behind them can lead to misinformation. In this practical guide, we show you how “read” the results of wavelet displays correctly. We point out any pitfalls in Wavelet Transforms and how to avoid them. You will obtain real-world intuitive understanding from the book, seminars and consulting help (if needed). This will allow you to take full advantage of the powerful capability of Wavelets with confidence in obtaining true and meaningful results and without fear of degradation of the data.
Q. I’m not a computer whiz. Can I actually try out these methods in a Hands-On environment?
A. Absolutely! Although Wavelets are found in various software packages, we use the acknowledged leader, the Matlab Wavelet Toolbox, to give you some Hands-On user-friendly experience. In the seminars, we walk you through the many uses of Wavelets and let you “experiment” with the inputs to get an even better feel of what’s going on. The Book and the Seminars include Matlab M-Files to help you get a "Hands-On" feel for wavelets.
Q. There are a lot of Wavelet books out there. Can’t I just save some money and learn Wavelets on my own?
A. You can, but be prepared to spend a lot of time with mathematical equations. A look inside existing Wavelet Analysis texts quickly reveals a heavy dependence on math. This presentation is the only one we’ve run across that DOESN’T rely on matrices and transposes, frame theory, vector spaces, signal spaces, Hilbert spaces, proofs, theorems, lemmas, etc. etc. to try to teach CONCEPTS through EQUATIONS. In this user friendly guide we emphasize informed USE of Wavelets and leave the rigorous PROOFS to scholarly texts. We do reference some excellent traditional texts, papers, and websites for additional study if desired. However, we feel that further learning from the equations is made much easier and more palatable when you already understand them and have actually seen them “in action”. Even accomplished mathematicians have expressed gratitude for extra insights not immediately obvious from the equations.
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