I would like to understand how is the period or frequency of time series calculated. Shouldn't a weekly repeating pattern be of the frequency 7, and the yearly pattern be 365?

I ask because the paper http://robjhyndman.com/papers/complex-seasonality/ suggests that the data: http://robjhyndman.com/data/callcenter.txt (Fig 1b from the paper)

has the period of 169 days (and another of 169*5).

I do not understand why?


I think I found the answer to my question:

Frequency basically means the number of time units with one period of a time series. So for instance, for the call center data, the period is 169 because the measurements are taken every 5 mins between 7am and 9:05pm, which means 169 samples within one day.

Similarly, for the pattern that repeats weekly, the frequency becomes 169*5, because the data repeats every 169*5 time units.


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