Basis in a vector space

A vector space basis is the skeleton from which a vector space is built. It allows to decompose any signal into a linear combination of simple building blocks, namely, the basis vectors. The Fourier Transform is just a change of basis.

A vector basis is the linear combination of a set of vector that can write any vector of the space.

\[ w^{(k)} \leftarrow \text{basis} \]

The canonical basis in \(\mathbb{R}^2\) are:

\(e^{(0)} = [1, 0]^T \ \ e^{(1) } = [0,1]^T \)

Nevertheless, there are more basis for \(\mathbb{R}^2\):

\(e^{(0)} = [1, 0]^T \ \ e^{(1) } = [1,1]^T \)

This former basis is not linearly independent as information of \(e^{(0)}\) is inside \(e^{(1)}\).

Formal definition

H is a vector space.

W is a set of vectors from H such that \(W = \left\{ w^{(k)}  \right\} \)

W is a basis of H if:

  1. We can write \( \forall x \in H\): \( x = \sum_{k=0}^{K-1} \alpha_k w^{(k)}, \ \ \alpha_k \in \mathbb{C} \)
  2. \( \alpha_k  \) are unique, namely, there is linear independence in the basis, as a given point can only be expressed in a unique combination of the basis.

Orthogonal basis are those which inner product returns 0:

\( \left \langle w^{(k)}, w^{(n)} \right \rangle = 0, \ \ \text{for } k \neq n \)

In addition, if the self inner product of every basis element return 1, the basis are orthonormal.

How to change the basis?

An element in the vector space can be represented with a new basis computing the projection of the current basis in the new basis. If \(x\) is a vector element and is represented with the vector basis \(w^{(K)}\) with the coefficients \(a_k\), it can also be represented as a linear combination of the basis \(v^{(k)}\) with the coefficients \( \beta_k\). In a mathematical notation:

\[ x = \sum_{k=0}^{K-1} \alpha_k w^{(k)} = \sum_{k=0}^{K-1} \beta_k v^{(k)} \]

If \(\left\{ v^{(k)} \right\}\) is orthonormal, the new coefficients \(\beta_k\) can be computed as a linear combination of the previous coefficients and the projection of the new basis over the original one:

\[\beta_h = \left \langle v^{(h)}, x \right \rangle = \left \langle v^{(h)}, \sum_{k=0}^{K-1} \alpha_k w^{(k)} \right \rangle = \sum_{k=0}^{K-1} \alpha_k \left\langle v^{(h)}, w^{(k)} \right \rangle \]

This operation can also be represented in a matrix form as follows:

\[ \beta_h = \begin{bmatrix}
c_{00} & c_{01} & \cdots & c_{0\left(K-1 \right )}\\
& & \vdots & \\
c_{\left(K-1 \right )0} & c_{\left(K-1 \right )01} & \cdots & c_{\left(K-1 \right )\left(K-1 \right )}
\end{bmatrix}\begin{bmatrix}
\alpha_0 \\
\vdots \\
\alpha_{K-1}
\end{bmatrix} \]

This operation is widely used in algebra. A well-known example of a change of basis could be the Discrete Fourier Transform (DFT).

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