The Lomb-Scargle Periodogram in Biological Rhythm Research: Analysis of Incomplete and Unequally Spaced Time-Series

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Authors Thomas Ruf
Journal/Conference Name Biological Rhythm Research
Paper Category
Paper Abstract This paper investigates the utility of the Lomb–Scargle periodogram for the analysis of biological rhythms. This method is particularly suited to detect periodic components in unequally sampled time-series and data sets with missing values, but restricts all calculations to actually measured values. The Lomb-Scargle method was tested on both real and simulated time-series with even and uneven sampling, and compared to a standard method in biomedical rhythm research, the Chi-square periodogram. Results indicate that the Lomb–Scargle algorithm shows a clearly better detection efficiency and accuracy in the presence of noise, and avoids possible bias or erroneous results that may arise from replacement of missing data by interpolation techniques. Hence, the Lomb–Scargle periodogram may serve as a useful method for the study of biological rhythms, especially when applied to telemetrical or observational time-series obtained from free-living animals, i.e., data sets that notoriously lack points.
Date of publication 1999
Code Programming Language R

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