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The Hilbert–Huang transform (HHT) is a way to decompose a signal into so-called intrinsic mode functions (IMF) along with a trend, and obtain instantaneous frequency data. It is designed to work well for data that is nonstationary and nonlinear. In contrast to other common transforms like the Fourier transform, the HHT is more like an algorithm (an empirical approach) that can be applied to a data set, rather than a theoretical tool. The Hilbert–Huang transform (HHT) is a way to decompose a signal into so-called intrinsic mode functions (IMF) along with a trend, and obtain instantaneous frequency data. It is designed to work well for data that is nonstationary and nonlinear. In contrast to other common transforms like the Fourier transform, the HHT is more like an algorithm (an empirical approach) that can be applied to a data set, rather than a theoretical tool. The Hilbert–Huang transform (HHT), a NASA designated name, was proposed by Norden E. Huang et al. (1996, 1998, 1999, 2003, 2012). It is the result of the empirical mode decomposition (EMD) and the Hilbert spectral analysis (HSA). The HHT uses the EMD method to decompose a signal into so-called intrinsic mode functions (IMF) with a trend, and applies the HSA method to the IMFs to obtain instantaneous frequency data. Since the signal is decomposed in time domain and the length of the IMFs is the same as the original signal, HHT preserves the characteristics of the varying frequency. This is an important advantage of HHT since real-world signal usually has multiple causes happening in different time intervals. The HHT provides a new method of analyzing nonstationary and nonlinear time series data. The fundamental part of the HHT is the empirical mode decomposition (EMD) method. Breaking down signals into various components, EMD can be compared with other analysis methods such as Fourier transform and Wavelet transform. Using the EMD method, any complicated data set can be decomposed into a finite and often small number of components. These components form a complete and nearly orthogonal basis for the original signal. In addition, they can be described as intrinsic mode functions (IMF). Because the first IMF usually carries the most oscillating (high-frequency) components, it can be rejected to remove high-frequency components (e.g., random noise). EMD based smoothing algorithms have been widely used in seismic data processing, where high-quality seismic records are highly demanded. Without leaving the time domain, EMD is adaptive and highly efficient. Since the decomposition is based on the local characteristic time scale of the data, it can be applied to nonlinear and nonstationary processes.

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