Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 21 (NIPS 2008)

*Zaïd Harchaoui, Eric Moulines, Francis Bach*

We introduce a kernel-based method for change-point analysis within a sequence of temporal observations. Change-point analysis of an (unlabelled) sample of observations consists in, first, testing whether a change in the distribution occurs within the sample, and second, if a change occurs, estimating the change-point instant after which the distribution of the observations switches from one distribution to another different distribution. We propose a test statistics based upon the maximum kernel Fisher discriminant ratio as a measure of homogeneity between segments. We derive its limiting distribution under the null hypothesis (no change occurs), and establish the consistency under the alternative hypothesis (a change occurs). This allows to build a statistical hypothesis testing procedure for testing the presence of change-point, with a prescribed false-alarm probability and detection probability tending to one in the large-sample setting. If a change actually occurs, the test statistics also yields an estimator of the change-point location. Promising experimental results in temporal segmentation of mental tasks from BCI data and pop song indexation are presented.

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