Shape-Constrained Sparse and Low-Rank Decomposition for Auroral Substorm Detection

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Journal Article
IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks and Learning Systems, 2016, 27 (1), pp. 32 - 46
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© 2015 IEEE. An auroral substorm is an important geophysical phenomenon that reflects the interaction between the solar wind and the Earth's magnetosphere. Detecting substorms is of practical significance in order to prevent disruption to communication and global positioning systems. However, existing detection methods can be inaccurate or require time-consuming manual analysis and are therefore impractical for large-scale data sets. In this paper, we propose an automatic auroral substorm detection method based on a shape-constrained sparse and low-rank decomposition (SCSLD) framework. Our method automatically detects real substorm onsets in large-scale aurora sequences, which overcomes the limitations of manual detection. To reduce noise interference inherent in current SLD methods, we introduce a shape constraint to force the noise to be assigned to the low-rank part (stationary background), thus ensuring the accuracy of the sparse part (moving object) and improving the performance. Experiments conducted on aurora sequences in solar cycle 23 (1996-2008) show that the proposed SCSLD method achieves good performance for motion analysis of aurora sequences. Moreover, the obtained results are highly consistent with manual analysis, suggesting that the proposed automatic method is useful and effective in practice.
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