I am using a moving average filter to smooth data for outlier removal. By changing the number of average points, I am getting different result.

My data are multi-dimensional feature vectors.

I applied the moving average to the entire matrix and then on individual variables.

They give different results.

So, how to choose/guess the number of points to average over and should it be applied on the entire matrix or on a one by one basis?

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    $\begingroup$ One approach to choosing a smoothing parameter would be to optimize one-step-ahead prediction errors (such as sums of squares of one-step-ahead prediction errors). If you're trying to identify outliers, you'd want a different measure of prediction error - one reasonably robust to outliers (and then moving averages would seem an odd choice - why not something more robust to the outliers?) $\endgroup$ – Glen_b -Reinstate Monica Nov 2 '13 at 1:11

Neither. Both. All.

Sorry. But I think this is another attempt (albeit a clever one) to automate what can't really be automated. Of course different methods give different results; the only times they wouldn't is where the outlier is so obvious that you don't need a test.

My suggestion is to use a variety of methods to identify possible outliers, then examine those outliers on an individual basis.

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for your reply. But I could not follow what you mean by automating. How to detect presence of outliers and where they are? I just applied outlier removal since existing resources mention that data need to be smoothed and noise-free. My data comes from kinect sensor. $\endgroup$ – Srishti M Nov 1 '13 at 22:07
  • $\begingroup$ From your question, you seem to be trying to apply a method and use the result, without any further consideration. This would be "automated". Instead, use a variety of methods and then consider the results (the consideration makes it "not automated". $\endgroup$ – Peter Flom - Reinstate Monica Nov 2 '13 at 12:14

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