Foundations of Computational Mathematics

, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 799–838 | Cite as

Sliding Windows and Persistence: An Application of Topological Methods to Signal Analysis

  • Jose A. PereaEmail author
  • John Harer


We develop in this paper a theoretical framework for the topological study of time series data. Broadly speaking, we describe geometrical and topological properties of sliding window embeddings, as seen through the lens of persistent homology. In particular, we show that maximum persistence at the point-cloud level can be used to quantify periodicity at the signal level, prove structural and convergence theorems for the resulting persistence diagrams, and derive estimates for their dependency on window size and embedding dimension. We apply this methodology to quantifying periodicity in synthetic data sets and compare the results with those obtained using state-of-the-art methods in gene expression analysis. We call this new method SW1PerS, which stands for Sliding Windows and 1-Dimensional Persistence Scoring.


Persistent homology Time-delay embeddings Periodicity 

Mathematics Subject Classification

Primary 55U99 37M10 68W05 Secondary 57M99 



Both authors were supported in part by DARPA under Grants D12AP00001 and D12AP00025-002 and by the AFOSR under Grant FA9550-10-1-0436.


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Copyright information

© SFoCM 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of MathematicsDuke UniversityDurhamUSA
  2. 2.Departments of Mathematics, Computer Science, and Electrical and Computer EngineeringDuke UniversityDurhamUSA

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