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Concept# Curve

Summary

In mathematics, a curve (also called a curved line in older texts) is an object similar to a line, but that does not have to be straight.
Intuitively, a curve may be thought of as the trace left by a moving point. This is the definition that appeared more than 2000 years ago in Euclid's Elements: "The [curved] line is […] the first species of quantity, which has only one dimension, namely length, without any width nor depth, and is nothing else than the flow or run of the point which […] will leave from its imaginary moving some vestige in length, exempt of any width."
This definition of a curve has been formalized in modern mathematics as: A curve is the of an interval to a topological space by a continuous function. In some contexts, the function that defines the curve is called a parametrization, and the curve is a parametric curve. In this article, these curves are sometimes called topological curves to distinguish them from more constrained curves such as differentiable curve

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Functional time series is a temporally ordered sequence of not necessarily independent random curves. While the statistical analysis of such data has been traditionally carried out under the assumption of completely observed functional data, it may well happen that the statistician only has access to a relatively low number of sparse measurements for each random curve. These discrete measurements may be moreover irregularly scattered in each curve's domain, missing altogether for some curves, and be contaminated by measurement noise. This sparse sampling protocol escapes from the reach of established estimators in functional time series analysis and therefore requires development of a novel methodology.
The core objective of this thesis is development of a non-parametric statistical toolbox for analysis of sparsely observed functional time series data. Assuming smoothness of the latent curves, we construct a local-polynomial-smoother based estimator of the spectral density operator producing a consistent estimator of the complete second order structure of the data. Moreover, the spectral domain recovery approach allows for prediction of latent curve data at a given time by borrowing strength from the estimated dynamic correlations in the entire time series across time. Further to predicting the latent curves from their noisy point samples, the method fills in gaps in the sequence (curves nowhere sampled), denoises the data, and serves as a basis for forecasting.
A classical non-parametric apparatus for encoding the dependence between a pair of or among a multiple functional time series, whether sparsely or fully observed, is the functional lagged regression model. This consists of a linear filter between the regressors time series and the response. We show how to tailor the smoother based estimators for the estimation of the cross-spectral density operators and the cross-covariance operators and, by means of spectral truncation and Tikhonov regularisation techniques, how to estimate the lagged regression filter and predict the response process.
The simulation studies revealed the following findings: (i) if one has freedom to design a sampling scheme with a fixed number of measurements, it is advantageous to sparsely distribute these measurements in a longer time horizon rather than concentrating over a shorter time horizon to achieve dense measurements in order to diminish the spectral density estimation error, (ii) the developed functional recovery predictor surpasses the static predictor not exploiting the temporal dependence, (iii) neither of the two considered regularisation techniques can, in general, dominate the other for the estimation in functional lagged regression models. The new methodologies are illustrated by applications to real data: the meteorological data revolving around the fair-weather atmospheric electricity measured in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, and at Wank mountain, Germany; and a case study analysing the dependence of the US Treasury yield curve on macroeconomic variables.
As a secondary contribution, we present a novel simulation method for general stationary functional time series defined through their spectral properties. A simulation study shows universality of such approach and superiority of the spectral domain simulation over the temporal domain in some situations.

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2008The distance from self-intersection of a (smooth and either closed or infinite) curve q in three dimensions can be characterised via the global radius of curvature at q(s), which is defined as the smallest possible radius amongst all circles passing through the given point and any two other points on the curve. The minimum value of the global radius of curvature along the curve gives a convenient measure of curve thickness or normal injectivity radius. Given the utility of the construction inherent to global curvature, it is natural to consider variants defined in related ways. The first part of the thesis considers all possible circular and spherical distance functions and the associated, single argument, global radius of curvature functions that are constructed by minimisation over all but one argument. It is shown that among all possible global radius of curvature functions there are only five independent ones. And amongst these five there are two particularly useful ones for characterising thickness of a curve. We investigate the geometry of how these two functions, ρpt and ρtp, can be achieved. Properties and interrelations of the divers global radius of curvature functions are illustrated with the simple examples of ellipses and helices. It is known that any Lipschitz continuous curve with positive thickness actually has C1,1-regularity. Accordingly, C1,1 is the natural space in which to carry out computations involving self-avoiding curves. The second part of the thesis develops the mathematical theory of biarcs, which are a geometrically elegant way of discretizing C1,1 space curves. A biarc is a pair of circular arcs joined in a C1 fashion according to certain matching rules. We establish a self-contained theory of the geometry of biarc interpolation of point-tangent data sampled from an underlying base curve, and demonstrate that such biarc curves have attractive convergence properties in both a pointwise and function-space sense, e.g. the two arcs of the biarc interpolating a coalescent point-tangent data pair on a C2-curve approach the osculating circle of the curve at the limit of the data points, and for a C1,1-base curve and a sequence of (possibly non-uniform) meshes, the interpolating biarc curves approach the base curve in the C1-norm. For smoother base curves, stronger convergence can be obtained, e.g. interpolating biarc curves approach a C2 base curve in the C1,1-norm. The third part of the thesis concerns the practical utility of biarcs in computation. It is shown that both the global radius of curvature function ρpt and thickness can be evaluated efficiently (and to an arbitrarily small, prescribed precision) on biarc curves. Moreover, both the notion of a contact set, i.e. the set of points realising thickness, and an approximate contact set can be defined rigorously. The theory is then illustrated with an application to the computation of ideal shapes of knots. Informally ideal knot shapes can be described as the configuration allowing a given knot to be tied with the shortest possible piece of rope of prescribed thickness. The biarc discretization is combined with a simulated annealing code to obtain approximate ideal shapes. These shapes provide rigorous upper bounds for rope length of ideal knots. The approximate contact set and the function ρpt evaluated on the computed shapes allow us to assess closeness of the computations to ideality. The high accuracy of the computations reveal various, previously unrecognized, features of ideal knot shapes.