Statistics and probability are used in Digital Signal Processing to characterize signals and the processes that generate them. For example, a primary use of DSP is to reduce interference, noise, and other undesirable components in acquired data. These may be an inherent part of the signal being measured, arise from imperfections in the data acquisition system, or be introduced as an unavoidable byproduct of some DSP operation. Statistics and probability allow these disruptive features to be measured and classified, the first step in developing strategies to remove the offending components. This chapter introduces the most important concepts in statistics and probability, with emphasis on how they apply to acquired signals.

The Scientist and Engineer’s Guide to Digital Signal Processing, ©1997-1998 by Steven W. Smith. For more information visit the book’s website at: