Research Topic

Fractal Analyses: Statistical and Methodological Innovations and Best Practices.

About this Research Topic

Many statistical and methodological developments regarding fractal analyses have appeared in the scientific literature since the publication of the seminal texts introducing Fractal Physiology. However, the lion’s share of more recent work is distributed across many outlets and disciplines, including aquatic ...

Many statistical and methodological developments regarding fractal analyses have appeared in the scientific literature since the publication of the seminal texts introducing Fractal Physiology. However, the lion’s share of more recent work is distributed across many outlets and disciplines, including aquatic sciences, biology, computer science, ecology, economics, geology, mathematics, medicine, neuroscience, physics, physiology, psychology, and others.
The purpose of this special topic is to solicit submissions regarding fractal and nonlinear statistical techniques from experts that span a wide range of disciplines. The articles will aggregate extensive cross-discipline expertise into comprehensive and broadly applicable resources that will support the application of fractal methods to physiology and related disciplines.
The articles will be organized with respect to a continuum defined by the characteristics of the empirical measurements a given analysis is intended to confront. At one end of the continuum are stochastic techniques directed at assessing scale invariant but stochastic data. The next step in the continuum concerns self-affine random fractals and methods directed at systems that entail scale-invariant or 1/ƒ patterns or related patterns of temporal and spatial fluctuation. Analyses directed at (noisy) deterministic signals correspond to the final stage of the continuum that relates the statistical treatments of nonlinear stochastic and deterministic signals. Each section will contain introductory articles, advanced articles, and application articles so readers with any level of expertise with fractal methods will find the special topic accessible and useful.
Example stochastic methods include probability density estimation for the inverse power-law, the lognormal, and related distributions. Articles describing statistical issues and tools for discriminating different classes of distributions will be included. An example issue is distinguishing power-law distributions from exponential distributions. Modeling issues and problems regarding statistical mimicking will be addressed as well.
The random fractal section will present introductions to several one-dimensional monofractal time-series analysis. Introductory articles will be accompanied by advanced articles that will supply comprehensive treatments of all the key fractal time series methods such as dispersion analysis, detrended fluctuation analysis, power spectral density analysis, and wavelet techniques. Box counting and related techniques will be introduced and described for spatial analyses of two and three dimensional domains as well. Tutorial articles on the execution and interpretation of multifractal analyses will be solicited. There are several standard wavelet based and detrended fluctuation based methods for estimating a multifractal spectrum. We hope to include articles that contrast the different methods and compare their statistical performance as well.
The deterministic methods section will include articles that present methods of phase space reconstruction, recurrence analysis, and cross-recurrence analysis. Recurrence methods are widely applicable, but motivated by signals that contain deterministic patterns. Nonetheless recent developments such as the analysis of recurrence interval scaling relations suggest applicability to fractal systems. Several related statistical procedures will be included in this section. Examples include average mutual information statistics and false nearest neighbor analyses.


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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