Nonparametric Estimation of Band-limited Probability Density Functions

by   Rahul Agarwal, et al.

In this paper, a nonparametric maximum likelihood (ML) estimator for band-limited (BL) probability density functions (pdfs) is proposed. The BLML estimator is consistent and computationally efficient. To compute the BLML estimator, three approximate algorithms are presented: a binary quadratic programming (BQP) algorithm for medium scale problems, a Trivial algorithm for large-scale problems that yields a consistent estimate if the underlying pdf is strictly positive and BL, and a fast implementation of the Trivial algorithm that exploits the band-limited assumption and the Nyquist sampling theorem ("BLMLQuick"). All three BLML estimators outperform kernel density estimation (KDE) algorithms (adaptive and higher order KDEs) with respect to the mean integrated squared error for data generated from both BL and infinite-band pdfs. Further, the BLMLQuick estimate is remarkably faster than the KD algorithms. Finally, the BLML method is applied to estimate the conditional intensity function of a neuronal spike train (point process) recorded from a rat's entorhinal cortex grid cell, for which it outperforms state-of-the-art estimators used in neuroscience.


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