Applied Stochastic Eigen-Analysis
WOODS HOLE OCEANOGRAPHIC INSTITUTION MA
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The first part of the dissertation investigates the application of the theory of large random matrices to high-dimensional inference problems when the samples are drawn from a multivariate normal distribution. A longstanding problem in sensor array processing is addressed by designing an estimator for the number of signals in white noise that dramatically outperforms that proposed by Wax and IKailath. This methodology is extended to develop new parametric techniques for testing and estimation. Unlike ted- niques found in the literature, these exhibit robustness to high-dimensionality, sample size constraints and eigenvector misspecification. By interpreting the eigenvalues of the sample covariance matrix as an interacting particle system, the existence of a phase transition phenomenon in the largest signal eigenvalue is derived using heuristic arguments. This exposes a fundamental limit on the identifiability of low-level signals due to sample size constraints when using the sample eigenvalues alone.
- Statistics and Probability