» Theory

Negative Zero

Howdy Pierce My wife brings up the following story any time she wants to make the point that I’m pedantic: When one of my daughters was in second grade, her math teacher told the class that any number divided by zero was one. I dashed off an impassioned email t…

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An In-Depth Review of Deep Work

Howdy Pierce For the last couple of weeks I’ve been meaning to blog about a book I recently read, but I have been so inundated by my to-do list that I couldn’t find the time—or, more accurately, the discipline—to sit down and apply myself to writing this…

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Sometimes, Noise Helps

Mike Perkins I’ve been working on a fun problem lately that involves estimating a scalar parameter from a set of repeated observations. It turns out that in certain circumstances, the presence of noise in the system can actually make the estimate more accurate,…

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Why Sample Size and Random Sampling Matters

Mike Perkins Recently we tweeted an interesting article on big data, from the Financial Times. The author’s key point is that sampling bias and sampling error are possible even with large data sets. As illustration, the author discusses a classic case where the…

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Posted In: Perk, Theory

Choosing the Correct Video Sampling Format

Mike Perkins We’re a little late in posting this, but I wrote a blog entry for EDN last week that discusses how to choose the correct video sampling format.  An excerpt:  To process signals digitally, they must first be sampled and quantized. Sampling refers…

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Posted In: Perk, Theory, Video

Big Data, Probability, and Birthdays: Part 2 of 2

Mike Perkins In Part One of this blog post I discussed how to state an experiment in the form of probability spaces. Determining the sample space and the event space is necessary to be able to talk intelligently about probability measures, which is the topic of t…

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Posted In: Perk, Theory

Big Data, Probability, and Birthdays: Part 1 of 2

Mike Perkins Cardinal Peak’s big data practice is expanding as we continue adding data scientists to our staff. In a recent discussion regarding a data set we’re analyzing, a probability problem conceptually equivalent to the following arose: In a room filled…

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Posted In: Perk, Theory

The Difference between HMAC and MAC

Ben Mesander Hash-based message authentication code, or HMAC, is an important building block for proving that data transmitted between the components of a system has not been tampered with. HMAC is a widely used cryptographic technology. I recently came across it…

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A C++ class to implement low-pass, high-pass, and band-pass filters

Mike Perkins We recently needed a simple C++ class for linear phase FIR filtering, and I figured it might be useful to others, as well. You can download it here. Here’s how to use this class: Specify the desired filter type (low-pass, high-pass, or band-pass)…

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Posted In: Perk, Theory

Understanding the Cyclic Redundancy Check

Ben Mesander CRC stands for Cyclic Redundancy Check—an error-detecting code used to determine if a block of data has been corrupted. The mathematics behind CRCs initially appears daunting, but it doesn’t have to be.I’d like to present an alternative explana…

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