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Concept# Spline (mathematics)

Summary

In mathematics, a spline is a special function defined piecewise by polynomials.
In interpolating problems, spline interpolation is often preferred to polynomial interpolation because it yields similar results, even when using low degree polynomials, while avoiding Runge's phenomenon for higher degrees.
In the computer science subfields of computer-aided design and computer graphics, the term spline more frequently refers to a piecewise polynomial (parametric) curve. Splines are popular curves in these subfields because of the simplicity of their construction, their ease and accuracy of evaluation, and their capacity to approximate complex shapes through curve fitting and interactive curve design.
The term spline comes from the flexible spline devices used by shipbuilders and draftsmen to draw smooth shapes.
The term "spline" is used to refer to a wide class of functions that are used in applications requiring data interpolation and/or smoothing. The data may be either one-dimensional or multi-dimensional. Spline functions for interpolation are normally determined as the minimizers of suitable measures of roughness (for example integral squared curvature) subject to the interpolation constraints. Smoothing splines may be viewed as generalizations of interpolation splines where the functions are determined to minimize a weighted combination of the average squared approximation error over observed data and the roughness measure. For a number of meaningful definitions of the roughness measure, the spline functions are found to be finite dimensional in nature, which is the primary reason for their utility in computations and representation. For the rest of this section, we focus entirely on one-dimensional, polynomial splines and use the term "spline" in this restricted sense.
We begin by limiting our discussion to polynomials in one variable. In this case, a spline is a piecewise polynomial function.
This function, call it S, takes values from an interval [a,b] and maps them to , the set of real numbers,
We want S to be piecewise defined.

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Curve fitting

Curve fitting is the process of constructing a curve, or mathematical function, that has the best fit to a series of data points, possibly subject to constraints. Curve fitting can involve either interpolation, where an exact fit to the data is required, or smoothing, in which a "smooth" function is constructed that approximately fits the data. A related topic is regression analysis, which focuses more on questions of statistical inference such as how much uncertainty is present in a curve that is fit to data observed with random errors.

Spline interpolation

In the mathematical field of numerical analysis, spline interpolation is a form of interpolation where the interpolant is a special type of piecewise polynomial called a spline. That is, instead of fitting a single, high-degree polynomial to all of the values at once, spline interpolation fits low-degree polynomials to small subsets of the values, for example, fitting nine cubic polynomials between each of the pairs of ten points, instead of fitting a single degree-ten polynomial to all of them.

Spline (mathematics)

In mathematics, a spline is a special function defined piecewise by polynomials. In interpolating problems, spline interpolation is often preferred to polynomial interpolation because it yields similar results, even when using low degree polynomials, while avoiding Runge's phenomenon for higher degrees. In the computer science subfields of computer-aided design and computer graphics, the term spline more frequently refers to a piecewise polynomial (parametric) curve.

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