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A new distribution-based test of self-similarity

Bianchi, Sergio (2004): A new distribution-based test of self-similarity. Published in: Fractals , Vol. 12, No. 3 (2004): pp. 331-346.

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In studying the scale invariance of an empirical time series a twofold problem arises: it is necessary to test the series for self-similarity and, once passed such a test, the goal becomes to estimate the parameter H0 of self-similarity. The estimation is therefore correct only if the sequence is truly self-similar but in general this is just assumed and not tested in advance. In this paper we suggest a solution for this problem. Given the process {X(t)}, we propose a new test based on the diameter d of the space of the rescaled probability distribution functions of X(t). Two necessary conditions are deduced which contribute to discriminate self-similar processes and a closed formula is provided for the diameter of the fractional Brownian motion (fBm). Furthermore, by properly chosing the distance function, we reduce the measure of self-similarity to the Smirnov statistics when the one-dimensional distributions of X(t) are considered. This permits the application of the well-known two-sided test due to Kolmogorov and Smirnov in order to evaluate the statistical significance of the diameter d, even in the case of strongly dependent sequences. As a consequence, our approach both tests the series for self-similarity and provides an estimate of the self-similarity parameter.

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