Modulation space

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Modulation spaces[1] are a family of Banach spaces defined by the behavior of the short-time Fourier transform with respect to a test function from the Schwartz space. They were originally proposed by Hans Georg Feichtinger and are recognized to be the right kind of function spaces for time-frequency analysis. Feichtinger's algebra, while originally introduced as a new Segal algebra,[2] is identical to a certain modulation space and has become a widely used space of test functions for time-frequency analysis.

Modulation spaces are defined as follows. For  1\leq p,q \leq \infty , a non-negative function  m(x,\omega) on \mathbb{R}^{2d} and a test function  g \in \mathcal{S}(\mathbb{R}^d) , the modulation space  M^{p,q}_m(\mathbb{R}^d) is defined by

 M^{p,q}_m(\mathbb{R}^d)  = \left\{ f\in \mathcal{S}'(\mathbb{R}^d)\ :\ \left(\int_{\mathbb{R}^d}\left(\int_{\mathbb{R}^d} |V_gf(x,\omega)|^p m(x,\omega)^p dx\right)^{q/p} d\omega\right)^{1/q} < \infty\right\}.

In the above equation,  V_gf denotes the short-time Fourier transform of  f with respect to  g evaluated at  (x,\omega) , namely

V_gf(x,\omega)=\int_{\mathbb{R}^d}f(t)\overline{g(t-x)}e^{-2\pi it\cdot \omega}dt=\mathcal{F}^{-1}_{\xi}(\overline{\hat{g}(\xi)}\hat{f}(\xi+\omega))(x).

In other words,  f\in M^{p,q}_m(\mathbb{R}^d) is equivalent to  V_gf\in L^{p,q}_m(\mathbb{R}^{2d}) . The space  M^{p,q}_m(\mathbb{R}^d) is the same, independent of the test function  g \in \mathcal{S}(\mathbb{R}^d) chosen. The canonical choice is a Gaussian.

We also have a Besov-type definition of modulation spaces as follows.[3]

 M^s_{p,q}(\mathbb{R}^d)  = \left\{ f\in \mathcal{S}'(\mathbb{R}^d)\ :\ \left(\sum_{k\in\mathbb{Z}^d} \langle k \rangle^{sq} \|\psi_k(D)f\|_p^q\right)^{1/q} < \infty\right\}, \langle x\rangle:=|x|+1,

where \{\psi_k\} is a suitable unity partition. If m(x,\omega)=\langle \omega\rangle^s, then M^s_{p,q}=M^{p,q}_m.

Feichtinger's algebra[edit]

For  p=q=1 and  m(x,\omega) = 1 , the modulation space  M^{1,1}_m(\mathbb{R}^d) = M^1(\mathbb{R}^d) is known by the name Feichtinger's algebra and often denoted by  S_0 for being the minimal Segal algebra invariant under time-frequency shifts, i.e. combined translation and modulation operators.  M^1(\mathbb{R}^d) is a Banach space embedded in  L^1(\mathbb{R}^d) \cap C_0(\mathbb{R}^d) , and is invariant under the Fourier transform. It is for these and more properties that  M^1(\mathbb{R}^d) is a natural choice of test function space for time-frequency analysis. Fourier transform \mathcal{F} is an automorphism on M^{1,1}.


  1. ^ Foundations of Time-Frequency Analysis by Karlheinz Gröchenig
  2. ^ H. Feichtinger. "On a new Segal algebra" Monatsh. Math. 92:269–289, 1981.
  3. ^ B.X. Wang, Z.H. Huo, C.C. Hao, and Z.H. Guo. Harmonic Analysis Method for Nonlinear Evolution Equations. World Scientific, 2011.