Statistical methods

WANG J, Kondrashov D, LIEWER PC, KARMESIN SR. Three-dimensional deformable-grid electromagnetic particle-in-cell for parallel computers. Journal of Plasma Physics [Internet]. 1999;61 (3) :367-389. Publisher's VersionAbstract

We describe a new parallel, non-orthogonal-grid, three-dimensional electromagnetic particle-in-cell (EMPIC) code based on a finite-volume formulation. This code uses a logically Cartesian grid of deformable hexahedral cells, a discrete surface integral (DSI) algorithm to calculate the electromagnetic field, and a hybrid logical–physical space algorithm to push particles. We investigate the numerical instability of the DSI algorithm for non-orthogonal grids, analyse the accuracy for EMPIC simulations on non-orthogonal grids, and present performance benchmarks of this code on a parallel supercomputer. While the hybrid particle push algorithm has a second-order accuracy in space, the accuracy of the DSI field solve algorithm is between first and second order for non-orthogonal grids. The parallel implementation of this code, which is almost identical to that of a Cartesian-grid EMPIC code using domain decomposition, achieved a high parallel efficiency of over 96% for large-scal" # "e simulations.

Sella L, Vivaldo G, Groth A, Ghil M. Economic Cycles and Their Synchronization: A Comparison of Cyclic Modes in Three European Countries. Journal of Business Cycle Research [Internet]. 2016;12 (1) :25-48. Publisher's VersionAbstract

The present work applies singular spectrum analysis (SSA) to the study of macroeconomic fluctuations in three European countries: Italy, The Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. This advanced spectral method provides valuable spatial and frequency information for multivariate data sets and goes far beyond the classical forms of time domain analysis. In particular, SSA enables us to identify dominant cycles that characterize the deterministic behavior of each time series separately, as well as their shared behavior. We demonstrate its usefulness by analyzing several fundamental indicators of the three countries' real aggregate economy in a univariate, as well as a multivariate setting. Since business cycles are international phenomena, which show common characteristics across countries, our aim is to uncover supranational behavior within the set of representative European economies selected herein. Finally, the analysis is extended to include several indicators from the U.S. economy, in order to examine its influence on the European economies under study and their interrelationships.

Vautard R, Yiou P, Ghil M. Singular-spectrum analysis: A toolkit for short, noisy chaotic signals. Physica D. 1992;58 (1–4) :95–126.Abstract
Singular-spectrum analysis (SSA) is developed further, based on experience with applications to geophysical time series. It is shown that SSA provides a crude but robust approximation of strange attractors by tori, in the presence of noise. The method works well for short, noisy time series. The lagged-covariance matrix of the processes studied is the basis of SSA. We select subsets of eigenelements and associated principal components (PCs) in order to provide (i) a noise-reduction algorithm, (ii) a detrending algorithm, and (iii) an algorithm for the identification of oscillatory components. Reconstructed components (RCs) are developed to provide optimal reconstruction of a dynamic process at precise epochs, rather than averaged over the window length of the analysis. SSA is combined with advanced spectral-analysis methods - the maximum entropy method (MEM) and the multi-taper method (MTM) - to refine the interpretation of oscillatory behavior. A combined SSA-MEM method is also used for the prediction of selected subsets of RCs. The entire toolkit is validated against a set of four prescribed time series generated by known processes, quasi-periodic or chaotic. It is also applied to a time series of global surface air temperatures, 130 years long, which has attracted considerable attention in the context of the global warming issue and provides a severe test for noise reduction and prediction.
Penland C, Ghil M. Forecasting Northern Hemisphere 700\mbox-mb geopotential height anomalies using empirical normal modes. Monthly Weather Review. 1993;121 (8) :2355–2372.Abstract
Multivariate linear prediction based on single-lag inverse modeling is developed further and critically examined. The method is applied to the National Meteorological Center analyses of Northern Hemisphere 700-mb geopotential height anomalies, which have been filtered to eliminate periods shorter than 10 days. Empirically derived normal modes of the randomly forced linear system are usually correlated, even at zero lag, suggesting that combinations of modes should be used in predictions. Due to nonlinearities in the dynamics and the neglect of interactions with other pressure levels, the lag at which the analysis is performed is crucial; best predictions obtain when the autocovariances involved in the analysis are calculated at a lag comparable to the exponential decay times of the modes. Errors in prediction have a significant seasonal dependence, indicating that the annual cycle affects the higher-order statistics of the field. Optimized linear predictions using this method are useful for about half a day longer than predictions made by persistence. Conditional probabilities are much more efficiently calculated using normal-mode parameters than from histograms, and yield similar results. Maps of the model's Fourier spectra—integrated over specified frequency intervals and consistent with the assumptions made in a linear analysis—agree with maps obtained from fast Fourier transforms of the data.
Kravtsov S, Kondrashov D, Ghil M. Empirical model reduction and the modelling hierarchy in climate dynamics and the geosciences. Stochastic physics and climate modelling. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. 2009 :35–72.Abstract
Modern climate dynamics uses a two-fisted approach in attacking and solving the problems of atmospheric and oceanic flows. The two fists are: (i) observational analyses; and (ii) simulations of the geofluids, including the coupled atmosphere–ocean system, using a hierarchy of dynamical models. These models represent interactions between many processes that act on a broad range of spatial and time scales, from a few to tens of thousands of kilometers, and from diurnal to multidecadal, respectively. The evolution of virtual climates simulated by the most detailed and realistic models in the hierarchy is typically as difficult to interpret as that of the actual climate system, based on the available observations thereof. Highly simplified models of weather and climate, though, help gain a deeper understanding of a few isolated processes, as well as giving clues on how the interaction between these processes and the rest of the climate system may participate in shaping climate variability. Finally, models of intermediate complexity, which resolve well a subset of the climate system and parameterise the remainder of the processes or scales of motion, serve as a conduit between the models at the two ends of the hierarchy. We present here a methodology for constructing intermediate mod- els based almost entirely on the observed evolution of selected climate fields, without reference to dynamical equations that may govern this evolution; these models parameterise unresolved processes as multi- variate stochastic forcing. This methodology may be applied with equal success to actual observational data sets, as well as to data sets resulting from a high-end model simulation. We illustrate this methodology by its applications to: (i) observed and simulated low-frequency variability of atmospheric flows in the Northern Hemisphere; (ii) observed evo- lution of tropical sea-surface temperatures; and (iii) observed air–sea interaction in the Southern Ocean. Similar results have been obtained for (iv) radial-diffusion model simulations of Earth’s radiation belts, but are not included here because of space restrictions. In each case, the reduced stochastic model represents surprisingly well a variety of linear and nonlinear statistical properties of the resolved fields. Our methodology thus provides an efficient means of constructing reduced, numerically inexpensive climate models. These models can be thought of as stochastic–dynamic prototypes of more complex deterministic models, as in examples (i) and (iv), but work just as well in the situation when the actual governing equations are poorly known, as in (ii) and (iii). These models can serve as competitive prediction tools, as in (ii), or be included as stochastic parameterisations of certain processes within more complex climate models, as in (iii). Finally, the methodology can be applied, with some modifications, to geophysical problems outside climate dynamics, as illustrated by (iv).
Kondrashov D, Ghil M. Spatio-temporal filling of missing points in geophysical data sets. Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics. 2006;13 (2) :151–159.Abstract

The majority of data sets in the geosciences are obtained from observations and measurements of natural systems, rather than in the laboratory. These data sets are often full of gaps, due to to the conditions under which the measurements are made. Missing data give rise to various problems, for example in spectral estimation or in specifying boundary conditions for numerical models. Here we use Singular Spectrum Analysis (SSA) to fill the gaps in several types of data sets. For a univariate record, our procedure uses only temporal correlations in the data to fill in the missing points. For a multivariate record, multi-channel SSA (M-SSA) takes advantage of both spatial and temporal correlations. We iteratively produce estimates of missing data points, which are then used to compute a self-consistent lag-covariance matrix; cross-validation allows us to optimize the window width and number of dominant SSA or M-SSA modes to fill the gaps. The optimal parameters of our procedure depend on the distribution in time (and space) of the missing data, as well as on the variance distribution between oscillatory modes and noise. The algorithm is demonstrated on synthetic examples, as well as on data sets from oceanography, hydrology, atmospheric sciences, and space physics: global sea-surface temperature, flood-water records of the Nile River, the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI), and satellite observations of relativistic electrons.