IF estimation for multicomponent signals using image processing techniques in the time-frequency domain

L. Rankine*, M. Mesbah, B. Boashash

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

106 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents a method for estimating the instantaneous frequency (IF) of multicomponent signals. The technique involves, firstly, the transformation of the one-dimensional signal to the two-dimensional time-frequency (TF) domain using a reduced interference quadratic TF distribution. IF estimation of signal components is then achieved by implementing two image processing steps: local peak detection of the TF representation followed by an image processing technique called component linking. The proposed IF estimator is tested on noisy synthetic monocomponent and multicomponent signals exhibiting linear and nonlinear laws. For low signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) environments, a TF peak filtering preprocessing step is used for signal enhancement. Application of the IF estimation scheme to real signals is illustrated with newborn EEG signals. Finally, to illustrate the potential use of the proposed IF estimation method in classifying signals based on their TF components' IFs, a classification method using least squares data-fitting is proposed and illustrated on synthetic and real signals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1234-1250
Number of pages17
JournalSignal Processing
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • EEG
  • Image processing
  • Instantaneous frequency
  • Multicomponent signals
  • Time-frequency representation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Software
  • Signal Processing
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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