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Graphical Convolution

As mentioned above, cyclic convolution can be written as

$\displaystyle y(n) \isdef (x\circledast h)_n \isdef \sum_{m=0}^{N-1}x(m)h(n-m) =
\left<x,\hbox{\sc Shift}_n(\hbox{\sc Flip}(h))\right>$   $\displaystyle \mbox{($h$\ real)}$

where $ x,y\in{\bf C}^N$ and $ h\in{\bf R}^N$ . It is instructive to interpret this expression graphically, as depicted in Fig.7.5 above. The convolution result at time $ n=0$ is the inner product of $ x$ and $ \hbox{\sc Flip}(h)$ , or $ y(0)=\left<x,\hbox{\sc Flip}(h)\right>$ . For the next time instant, $ n=1$ , we shift $ \hbox{\sc Flip}(h)$ one sample to the right and repeat the inner product operation to obtain $ y(1)=\left<x,\hbox{\sc Shift}_1(\hbox{\sc Flip}(h))\right>$ , and so on. To capture the cyclic nature of the convolution, $ x$ and $ \hbox{\sc Shift}_n(\hbox{\sc Flip}(h))$ can be imagined plotted on a cylinder. Thus, Fig.7.5 shows the cylinder after being ``cut'' along the vertical line between $ n=N-1$ and $ n=0$ and ``unrolled'' to lay flat.


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``Mathematics of the Discrete Fourier Transform (DFT), with Audio Applications --- Second Edition'', by Julius O. Smith III, W3K Publishing, 2007, ISBN 978-0-9745607-4-8.
Copyright © 2014-04-06 by Julius O. Smith III
Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA),   Stanford University
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