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The Discrete Fourier Transform, Part 1

Douglas Lyon


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This paper describes an implementation of the Discrete Fourier Transform (DFT) and the Inverse Discrete Fourier Transform (IDFT). We show how the computation of the DFT and IDFT may be performed in Java and show why such operations are typically considered slow.
This is a multi-part paper, in part 2, we discuss a speed up of the DFT and IDFT using a class of algorithms known as the FFT (Fast Fourier Transform) and the IFFT (Inverse Fast Fourier Transform).
Part 3 demonstrates the computation of the PSD (Power Spectral Density) and applications of the DFT and IDFT. The applications include filtering, windowing, pitch shifting and the spectral analysis of re-sampling.

Note: Due to the typographical sophistication of this article, no HTML version is available. Please use the PDF version.

About the author

  Douglas A. Lyon (M'89-SM'00) received the Ph.D., M.S. and B.S. degrees in computer and systems engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (1991, 1985 and 1983). Dr. Lyon has worked at AT&T Bell Laboratories at Murray Hill, NJ and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA. He is currently the Chairman of the Computer Engineering Department at Fairfield University, in Fairfield CT, a senior member of the IEEE and President of DocJava, Inc., a consulting firm in Connecticut. Dr. Lyon has authored or co-authored three books (Java, Digital Signal Processing, Image Processing in Java and Java for Programmers). He has authored over 40 journal publications. Email: Web:

Douglas A. Lyon: "The Discrete Fourier Transform, Part 1", in Journal of Object Technology, vol. 8. no. 3, May-June 2009 pp. 17-26

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