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Exact Mean Computation in Dynamic Time Warping Spaces

Abstract

Dynamic time warping constitutes a major tool for analyzing time series. In particular, computing a mean series of a given sample of series in dynamic time warping spaces (by minimizing the Fr\'echet function) is a challenging computational problem, so far solved by several heuristic and inexact strategies. We spot some inaccuracies in the literature on exact mean computation in dynamic time warping spaces. Our contributions comprise an exact dynamic program computing a mean (useful for benchmarking and evaluating known heuristics). Based on this dynamic program, we empirically study properties like uniqueness and length of a mean. Moreover, experimental evaluations reveal substantial deficits of state-of-the-art heuristics in terms of their output quality. We also give an exact polynomial-time algorithm for the special case of binary time series

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