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Suppose I have a (very large) noisy data set of points $(x_i, y_i)$ and I want to smooth it. Mathematica seems to have a number of smoothing schemes (EstimatedBackground[], ListConvolve[], etc) but they all seem to have the underlying assumption that the data is sampled at regular intervals (and thus, usually takes a flat list of numbers as input), which is not my case (nor, I suspect, is it the case particularly frequently). Is there some more or less standard way to deal with this?

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  • $\begingroup$ But you need some assumption about the underlying relation and the noise. Otherwise your perceived "noise" could be your signal. $\endgroup$ – Dr. belisarius Oct 6 '14 at 16:17
  • $\begingroup$ @Belisarius Of course. In my case I am doing a computational experiment where I am computing spectral invariants of random (in a certain sense) matrices (so, I have a list of pairs of the form (eigenvalue, some_function_of_eigenvector) of my matrices, which, to make things more annoying, are not precisely the same size. If I do the experiment 1000 times, and compute the mean of my function, and plot it vs the ordinal number of eigenvector, all is well, and the curve is smooth. If I want to plot it against the corresponding eigenvalue, lots of noise. Moving average does sort of work, but... $\endgroup$ – Igor Rivin Oct 6 '14 at 16:23
  • $\begingroup$ ... is not clearly the right thing. In any case, there is the actual mathematical/scientific problem, and then there is the functionality provided by mathematica, which seems to not be quite what is needed (of course, I can write my own Gauss convolver, or whatever, but this will be actual work and run slowly, too boot :() $\endgroup$ – Igor Rivin Oct 6 '14 at 16:24
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    $\begingroup$ @IgorRivin Can you supply a sample data set or should I experiment on one of my own ? $\endgroup$ – Sektor Oct 6 '14 at 16:35
  • $\begingroup$ @Sektor Sure, watch this space for the Dropbox link. $\endgroup$ – Igor Rivin Oct 6 '14 at 16:36
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Mathematica 10 has new interesting functions for irregularly spaced data like MovingMap

data = RandomReal[1, {1000, 2}];

ListLinePlot[MovingMap[Mean, data, {{0.1}}]]

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ Aha! That could be what I am looking for, I will check it out and report! $\endgroup$ – Igor Rivin Oct 6 '14 at 19:07
  • $\begingroup$ But wait, this is just a generalized MovingAverage[] $\endgroup$ – Igor Rivin Oct 6 '14 at 19:09
  • $\begingroup$ @IgorRivin, what functionality were you expecting? $\endgroup$ – alancalvitti Oct 24 '14 at 19:11
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Show[
   ListPlot[#,
    DataRange -> {0, 6 Pi},
    PlotTheme -> "Detailed",
    PlotStyle -> PointSize[Tiny]],

   ListLinePlot[
    MovingMap[Mean, #, {{250}, Center}, 0],
    PlotStyle -> {Thick, Blue},
    DataRange -> {0, 6 Pi}]] & [Table[Cos[x] + RandomReal[{-1, 1}], {x, 0, 6 Pi, 0.01}]]

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ I will try with my data, and report. $\endgroup$ – Igor Rivin Oct 6 '14 at 20:19
  • $\begingroup$ On second thought, your data is actually regularly spaced (and so, just like the built-in stuff, you are not using the abscissas...) $\endgroup$ – Igor Rivin Oct 6 '14 at 21:04

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