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Ben on 15 Dec 2014

Answered: Piotr Gregor on 1 Jul 2022

Accepted Answer: David Young

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Hi all,

I'm working on a project that handles ECG data from arduino and ran into some problems while computing the discrete fourier transform of the ECG. I would like to view the transforms and data collection in real time. While the real time data collection works fine, I would prefer not to use the fft function because for academic uses, the hard coded formula of the fourier transform has more learning value. The code in entirety is as shown below:

clear

delete(instrfindall);

%initialize communication with arduino

arduino = serial('COM6');

arduino.Baudrate=9600;

fopen(arduino);

%initialize figures

figure;

%fig1 = figure;

%fig2 = figure;

%fig3 = figure;

%fig4 = figure;

%initialize sample and counter

sampleSize = 500;

a=1;

while (a < sampleSize) %doubles as a counter, 1000 samples takes about 10seconds

%collects raw data in string format

timeRaw = fgets(arduino);

ecgRaw = fgets(arduino);

%converts string data to numbers

time = str2double(timeRaw) / 1000;

ecg = str2double(ecgRaw);

%data allocation

dataTime(a,1) = time;

dataECG(a,1) = ecg;

%FFT

frequency = 1/time;

fftEcg = fft(ecg);

for k = 1:a

X(k,1) = 0;

for n = 1:a

X(k,1) = X(k,1)+(dataECG(n,1)*exp((-1j)*2*pi*(n-1)*(k-1)/a));

end

end

mag(a,1) = abs(X(a,1));

dataFreq(a,1) = frequency;

dataFft(a,1) = fftEcg;

%low pass filter, set at 50Hz

%sampling freq 80~90Hz, partly determined by delay in arduino

if (frequency < 10)

Y = fftEcg;

dataY(a,1) = Y;

else

Y = 0;

dataY(a,1) = Y;

end

%inverse FFT

dataIfft(a,1) = ifft(Y);

%plotting of figures, subplots are too small, 4 windows too messy

subplot(411);

%figure(fig1);

plot(dataTime,dataECG,'k-');

xlabel('Time (sec)');

ylabel('x(t) magnitude');

subplot(412);

plot(dataFreq,mag,'k-');

xlabel('Frequency (Hz)');

ylabel('X(jw) magnitude');

%subplot(412);

subplot(413);

%figure(fig2);

plot(dataFreq,dataFft,'k-');

xlabel('Frequency (Hz)');

ylabel('X(jw) magnitude');

%subplot(413);

%figure(fig3);

%plot(dataFreq,dataY,'k-');

%xlabel('Frequency (Hz)');

%ylabel('Filtered H(jw) magnitude');

subplot(414);

%figure(fig4);

plot(dataTime,dataIfft,'k-');

xlabel('Frequency (Hz)');

ylabel('Filtered x(t) magnitude');

%command to draw and take in next sample by increasing counter

drawnow;

a = a + 1;

end

%data collection into csv format

%intialize array for final data set

%finalData = zeros(sampleSize,2);

%data collection for raw data only

%for i=1:(sampleSize-1)

% finalData(a,1) = dataTime(a,1);

% finalData(a,2) = dataECG(a,1);

%end

%csvwrite('data.csv', finalData);

fclose(arduino);

return;

In particular the formula that I keyed in is found in this few lines of code:

for k = 1:a

X(k,1) = 0;

for n = 1:a

X(k,1) = X(k,1)+(dataECG(n,1)*exp((-1j)*2*pi*(n-1)*(k-1)/a));

end

end

mag(a,1) = abs(X(a,1));

The results between the fft function and the formula I've input are very different, any ideas how I can modify the formula?

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Soroush on 15 Feb 2016

#### Direct link to this comment

https://support.mathworks.com/matlabcentral/answers/166660-doing-dft-without-using-fft-function#comment_342860

Edited: Soroush on 15 Feb 2016

Open in MATLAB Online

One Dimensional DFT Function, without using for loop:

function [Xk] = dft(xn)

len = length(xn);

w = 2*pi*linspace(0,1,len);

n = 1:len;

Xk = exp(-1j*w'*n)*xn';

Angus Keatinge on 28 Apr 2018

#### Direct link to this comment

https://support.mathworks.com/matlabcentral/answers/166660-doing-dft-without-using-fft-function#comment_562131

Edited: Angus Keatinge on 28 Apr 2018

Open in MATLAB Online

This is wrong, the dft is from 0 to N-1 whereas linspace includes the extremities. You won't only have a redundant value at the last index, but every frequency term will be scaled differently to the N point dft (they will be scaled to an N-1 point dft). It is quite a common error, you can correct it by changing the lines:

w = 2*pi*linspace(0,1-1/len,len);

Xk = exp(-1j*w'*(n-1))*xn';

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### Accepted Answer

David Young on 15 Dec 2014

Edited: David Young on 15 Dec 2014

Open in MATLAB Online

First, let's confirm that the code you have used for the DFT is correct. Simplifying it a little for clarity (the second subscripts are unnecessary for vectors), we can try it on some test data like this:

N = 20; % length of test data vector

data = rand(N, 1); % test data

X = zeros(N,1); % pre-allocate result

for k = 1:N

X(k) = 0;

for n = 1:N

X(k) = X(k)+(data(n)*exp((-1j)*2*pi*(n-1)*(k-1)/N));

end

end

max(abs(X - fft(data))) % how different from built-in FFT?

This will print out a value of order 10^-14 - i.e. the processes are effectively the same, and this simple DFT code works fine.

So what is wrong is something to do with the way you are using it in within your program. I can see a couple of things that are probably incorrect. One is that a is being used as a loop counter and also as the loop limit in the DFT code. The loop limit needs to be the length of the data vector (which is why I've used N instead of a in my example). The second thing is that you assign the results to a variable called X, but you don't seem to make use of that variable anywhere later on - the results are in effect ignored. fftECG is used, but that isn't given a value anywhere.

So inconsistent use of variables looks like a problem here - remember that each variable that you use needs to be given a value. I think it's very difficult to get code right if you cut and paste snippets from elsewhere.

Finally, note that using the simple DFT code will be far far slower than calling fft() for any significant amount of data.

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Ben on 15 Dec 2014

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https://support.mathworks.com/matlabcentral/answers/166660-doing-dft-without-using-fft-function#comment_255871

The problem with the code that you suggested was that it requires initialization of data array and/or a finite number of test data beforehand.

For my application I intended test data to be transmitted via the serial port every few millisecond which means that the array used in storage of incoming ECG data cannot be initialized beforehand. And that is why I had to use the variable 'a' to double as a loop counter.

If I had used different variables as counters, the computation of DFT will fail since 'N' in your code would have a fixed value when in fact it varies from 1 to 500 with time.

The storage array, X is actually an array of complex numbers depending on the computation of the DFT, which is why I used abs(X) to capture the magnitude in the variable 'mag' and used to display out on the graph.

Am I missing something from my understanding? Thanks for the swift reply as well!

David Young on 15 Dec 2014

#### Direct link to this comment

https://support.mathworks.com/matlabcentral/answers/166660-doing-dft-without-using-fft-function#comment_255873

You do need a finite and definite number of data values to carry out a DFT (or FFT). You can set N to as many data values as you have at any point in time, and carry out the operation on those data, but the number of values can't be indefinite in any sense.

You set mag to abs(X(a,1)). This is just a scalar - what happens to all the other values you've computed for X, from X(1) to X(a-1)? In any case, I can't see where you use the value of mag.

I've now noticed that fftECG is actually given a value, using fft() - I'd missed that earlier.

The bottom line is that any version of the DFT (either the fft function or the code with loops) operates on a vector with a definite number of data points. If the data comes in a value at a time, you need to simply store these in an array until you have enough of them to do the analysis you want, then carry out the DFT on that array.

Ben on 15 Dec 2014

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https://support.mathworks.com/matlabcentral/answers/166660-doing-dft-without-using-fft-function#comment_255907

Open in MATLAB Online

I would agree on what you have said mathematically but I used the built in fft function on one incoming value from the serial port and it managed to compute fft in real time, because the figures are able to be updated live.

This is where I used the fft function after collecting data from the serial port 'arduino':

%collects raw data in string format

timeRaw = fgets(arduino);

ecgRaw = fgets(arduino);

%converts string data to numbers

time = str2double(timeRaw) / 1000;

ecg = str2double(ecgRaw);

%data allocation

dataTime(a,1) = time;

dataECG(a,1) = ecg;

%FFT

frequency = 1/time;

fftEcg = fft(ecg);

and also

dataFft(a,1) = fftEcg;

Output onto a graph is done here:

%subplot(412);

subplot(413);

%figure(fig2);

plot(dataFreq,dataFft,'k-');

xlabel('Frequency (Hz)');

ylabel('X(jw) magnitude');

But however when I try to represent this built in function with a self-written DFT code as per discussed earlier, the calculated values in the array X turns out totally different from the values calculated by the inbuilt fft() function.

Which is the reason why I questioned if the equation I've input is wrong.. Or is there is something else that the inbuilt fft() does besides calculating DFT?

David Young on 15 Dec 2014

#### Direct link to this comment

https://support.mathworks.com/matlabcentral/answers/166660-doing-dft-without-using-fft-function#comment_255957

No, the inbuilt fft() does exactly what the looping DFT code does, except that it is much faster and there may be tiny numerical differences in the result.

The difference is due to the fact that you are making use of different variables when you use the inline DFT and you call fft(). For example, fft() takes the number of data to be the length of ecg, but you set the number of data to be a.

Note that there is simply no way to compute a DFT without a vector of data to apply it to, and that vector will have a definite length. As I said, the DFT code you used is, in itself, correct.

By the way, what is the length of ecg?

Ben on 16 Dec 2014

#### Direct link to this comment

https://support.mathworks.com/matlabcentral/answers/166660-doing-dft-without-using-fft-function#comment_256144

Open in MATLAB Online

Hm, it is strange because ecg is just a double. It isn't even an array so there isn't a length to speak of. Which hence prompted me to believe fft() does not actually apply to a fixed vector.

On a side note, I had to use a in each of the loops because in computation of DFT, a is synonymous to the sample size N, which you had pointed out correctly should be defined beforehand conventionally. However, because the size of dataFft is always increasing as the serial port receives an additional data point, N (and therefore a) will always be increasing as well if I were to carry out real-time data collection instead of declaring the length beforehand.

I am puzzled because the fft() function was able to work this out on its own without me declaring a fixed length for it.

This was the code BEFORE I implemented the DFT hard-coded formula and worked perfectly fine:

clear

delete(instrfindall);

%initialize communication with arduino

arduino = serial('COM6');

arduino.Baudrate=9600;

fopen(arduino);

%initialize figures

figure;

%initialize sample and counter

sampleSize = 1000;

a=1;

while (a < sampleSize) %doubles as a counter, 1000 samples takes about 10seconds

%collects raw data in string format

timeRaw = fgets(arduino);

ecgRaw = fgets(arduino);

%converts string data to numbers

time = str2double(timeRaw) / 1000;

ecg = str2double(ecgRaw);

%FFT

frequency = 1/time;

fftEcg = fft(ecg);

%data allocation

dataTime(a,1) = time;

dataECG(a,1) = ecg;

dataFreq(a,1) = frequency;

dataFft(a,1) = fftEcg;

%low pass filter, set at 50Hz

%sampling freq 80~90Hz, partly determined by delay in arduino

if (frequency < 10)

Y = fftEcg;

dataY(a,1) = Y;

else

Y = 0;

dataY(a,1) = Y;

end

%inverse FFT

dataIfft(a,1) = ifft(Y);

%plotting of figures, subplots are too small, 4 windows too messy

subplot(411);

plot(dataTime,dataECG,'k-');

xlabel('Time (sec)');

ylabel('x(t) magnitude');

subplot(412);

plot(dataFreq,dataFft,'k-');

xlabel('Frequency (Hz)');

ylabel('X(jw) magnitude');

subplot(413);

plot(dataFreq,dataY,'k-');

xlabel('Frequency (Hz)');

ylabel('Filtered H(jw) magnitude');

subplot(414);

plot(dataTime,dataIfft,'k-');

xlabel('Frequency (Hz)');

ylabel('Filtered x(t) magnitude');

%command to draw and take in next sample by increasing counter

drawnow;

a = a + 1;

end

%data collection into csv format

%intialize array for final data set

%finalData = zeros(sampleSize,2);

%data collection for raw data only

%for i=1:(sampleSize-1)

% finalData(i,1) = dataTime(i,1);

% finalData(i,2) = dataECG(i,1);

%end

%csvwrite('data.csv', finalData);

fclose(arduino);

return;

And because fft() is a shortcut function and has no academic value whatsoever, a hardcoded formula is preferred for teaching purposes, despite the fact that fft() will be computationally faster than any form of hardcoded DFTs.

Ben on 17 Dec 2014

#### Direct link to this comment

https://support.mathworks.com/matlabcentral/answers/166660-doing-dft-without-using-fft-function#comment_256255

ah, I found out where it went wrong. ecg should be stored as an array and not be taken as a singular value.

Many thanks!

David Young on 17 Dec 2014

#### Direct link to this comment

https://support.mathworks.com/matlabcentral/answers/166660-doing-dft-without-using-fft-function#comment_256263

That sounds right. fft() will work on a single value (a scalar) - it just treats it as a vector of length 1, and returns its argument. This is correct mathematically, since the DFT of a scalar is just the scalar itself.

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### More Answers (1)

Piotr Gregor on 1 Jul 2022

Here's my implementation of DFT and IDFT:

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