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Fractional Splines and Wavelets

M. Unser, T. Blu

SIAM Review, vol. 42, no. 1, pp. 43-67, March 2000.


We extend Schoenberg's family of polynomial splines with uniform knots to all fractional degrees α > -1. These splines, which involve linear combinations of the one-sided power functions x+α = max(0, x)α, belong to L1 and are α-Hölder continuous for α > 0. We construct the corresponding B-splines by taking fractional finite differences and provide an explicit characterization in both time and frequency domains. We show that these functions satisfy most of the properties of the traditional B-splines, including the convolution property, and a generalized fractional differentiation rule that involves finite differences only. We characterize the decay of the B-splines which are not compactly supported for non-integral α's. Their most astonishing feature (in reference to the Strang-Fix theory) is that they have a fractional order of approximation α + 1 while they reproduce the polynomials of degree [α]. For α > 1/2, they satisfy all the requirements for a multiresolution analysis of L2 (Riesz bounds, two scale relation) and may therefore be used to build new families of wavelet bases with a continuously-varying order parameter. Our construction also yields symmetrized fractional B-splines which provide the connection with Duchon's general theory of radial (m,s)-splines (including thin-plate splines). In particular, we show that the symmetric version of our splines can be obtained as solution of a variational problem involving the norm of a fractional derivative. (Front cover).

AUTHOR="Unser, M. and Blu, T.",
TITLE="Fractional Splines and Wavelets",
JOURNAL="{SIAM} Review",

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