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multi-dimensional splines
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The basic idea of (tensor product) splines is that (in each dimension) you have a $n$ (or $n_i$, with i indicating the dimension) samples of un-evenly spaced data $(t_i, y_i=f(t_i))$ (so multi-dimensional data can be rectangular but not unstructured). A B-spline is a piecewise $k$-th order polynomial interpolant that can be constructed with nice properties such as $C^{k-1}$ continuity. The interpolant is represented by $n+k+1$ knots, which are essentially the $t_i$ but extra points that are determined by the data independent variable and the desired properties at the ends of the interpolant including extrapolation properties and $n$ coefficients which are the projection of the $y_i$ data onto the B-spline basis functions.

Intuition on order: A $k=0$ B-spline is piecewise constant, often called "nearest-neighbor" interpolation. A $k=0$ B-spline is piecewise linear. A $k=3$ B-spline is the default and produces aesthetically pleasing curves that can also be represented as the solution to thin-beam bending dynamics.

A key feature of the B-splines is that for $n$ data-points, there are $n$ basis functions, but only $k+1$ are non-zero on any particular panel (domain between knots). So to interpolate a large data set requires only evaluating the linear combination of $k+1$ elements (for each dimension), as in

hat{f} (x) = sum_{i = j}^{j+k+1} c_i u_i (x)

where $u_i$ is the $i$th basis function, and $c_i$ is the ith coefficient, and $j$ is the first index with a non-zero basis function. The sum could easily run over all $n$ elemnets, but most summands are zero.

In Matlab, these spline interpolations are implemnted in:
  • Spline Toolbox, which also includes regression using splines
  • interpn, interp{1|2|3}, and spline (an alias for interp1) which together may be a replacement for the spline toolbox?

Spline Toolbox was written by Carl de Boor, who wrote many seminal articles and books on splines. Most algorithms for evaluating the basis functions and computing the coefficients and knots from data were developed by de Boor.

In Python, SciPy provides:

  • splrep and splev, which are thin wrappers around fortran functions by the same name. These functions construct the knot and coefficient sequence given a sequence of 1-D data and evaluate the B-splines given the knot and coefficient sequence. The fortran supports only a single set of coefficients, but the python wrapper will recursively call itself to evaluate using multiple coefficients.
  • I believe there was short-lived class-based interface for splrep and splev.
  • BSpline, which is a newer interface using pure Python, Cython and C for 1-D splines. This supports a Cython-loop over sets of coefficients.
  • A number of interfaces for N-D unevenly spaced data limited to $k=0$ (nearest neighbor) or $k=1$ (piecewise linear) interpolation (interpn and RegularGridInterpolator), 2D tensor spline interpolation (RectBivariateSpline), or N-D evenly spaced data (ndimage).

Full comparison: interp1d(x, y[, kind, axis, copy, …]) CubicSpline(x, y[, BPoly(c, x[, e

LinearNDInterpolator(points, values[, …]) NearestNDInterpolator(x, y) Nearest-neighbour interpolation in N dimensions. interp2d(x, y, z[, kind, copy, interpn(points, values, xi[, method, …]) RegularGridInterpolator(points, values[, …]) RectBivariateSpline - see below

interpolate.BSpline --> new Cython implementation of B-Spline interpolate.splrep|splprep|splev|... --> FITPACK B-spline wrappers - functional interpolate.UnivariateSpline|InterpolatedUnivariateSpline|LSQUnivariateSpline --> FITPACK - "object oriented" (I assume the first two are just splprep with s=0 equivalent)

interpolate.RectBivariateSpline Bivariate spline approximation over a rectangular mesh. RectSphereBivariateSpline(u, v, r[, s, …]) Bivariate spline approximation over a rectangular mesh on a sphere.

For unstructured data: BivariateSpline Base class for bivariate splines. SmoothBivariateSpline(x, y, z[, w, bbox, …]) Smooth bivariate spline approximation. SmoothSphereBivariateSpline(theta, phi, r[, …]) Smooth bivariate spline approximation in spherical coordinates. LSQBivariateSpline(x, y, z, tx, ty[, w, …]) Weighted least-squares bivariate spline approximation. LSQSphereBivariateSpline(theta, phi, r, tt, tp) Weighted least-squares bivariate spline approximation in spherical coordinates.

Low-level interface to FITPACK functions: bisplrep(x, y, z[, w, xb, xe, yb, ye, kx, …]) Find a bivariate B-spline representation of a surface. bisplev(x, y, tck[, dx, dy]) Evaluate a bivariate B-spline and its derivatives.

interpolate.SmoothBivariateSpline - -> (dfitpack.surfit_lsq)

TODO: sort out the scipy.interpolate API to determine what to compare to. TODO: compare to other libraries like,
So far, I have worked on 2 implementations:
  • Using splev on a set of coefficients to evaluate the u_i for each dimension, then collect the evaluation and use einsum to multiply and sum the coefficients. This is definitely slow because I am allocating memory and iterating over a bunch of known zeros. I didn't realize that to evaluate each basis function, I am looping in python over the the associated $n$ (for that dimension)
  • Before I reviewed my math, I thought ndimage could be used with a simple transformation for non-uniform knots.
Speed up thoughts:
  • Drop-in Bspline for splev to reduce costs associated with evaluating the coefficients
  • Pure Python/NumPy implementation to efficiently evaluate the required spline basis functions and perform the inner product
  • New Cython-based implementation modeled after BSpline code

For the first two, pre-allocating and keeping intermediate arrays between calls (check for same shape of x) would probably further speed-up. Between the second two, I think I have a

It was easy to use the 1-D interfaces of knot/coefficient construction to build N-D knots/coefficients. It would be nice to support N-D least squares regression but I am not familiar with the direct construction of the linear equation.

Assuming I effectively use the C(ython) API for NumPy, the Cython should be strictly faster, but the Pure Python/NumPy implementation should approach that speed as dimension, dataset size, and evaluation points increase.


built into ipython:

From IPython shell In [ ]: %run -p

There's also a python built-in that I don't know how to read the binary output of:

python -m cProfile -o

Shockingly, the first hit on google is just a 3rd party package for reading it because there isn't/wasn't a good way to read them. Okay. Using line_profiler package:

$ pip install line_profiler $ python

I made the profiling explicit and decoupled from actual source code.

Currently I'm just over 2x slower for 1D case callling single points, and usually better than 1.5x slower for 1D case for a vectorized call. This isn't too bad given the added funcitonality! I do see that the compute_basis_coefficient_selector method is spending ~7% of the time on iterator, so the whole function is a good candidate for cythonization.


After profiling revealed that the scipy.interpolate._bspl implementation is 10x faster, I copied that code over to refactor to make the necessary parts accessible.

Building requires Cython and Numpy:

$ pip install cython numpy

Now build the _bspl module:

$ python build_ext -i

Now you can install:

$ pip install -e .
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