Image Processing Reference
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where Γ( μ , ν ) denotes the set of all couplings of μ and ν . EMD does measure the global move-
ments between the distributions. However, the computation of EMD involves solving optim-
ization problems and is much more complex than the density-based divergence measures.
Related to the distance measures are the statistical tests to determine whether two samples
are drawn from different distributions. Examples of such tests include the Kolmogorov-
Smirnov statistic ([ 8 ]) and the kernel based tests ([ 9 ]).
3 Distances on cumulative distribution functions
A cumulative distribution function (CDF) of a random variable X is defined as
Let F and G be CDFs for the random variables with bounded ranges (i.e., their density func-
tions have bounded supports). For p ≥ 1, we define the distance between the CDFs as
It is easy to verify that d p ( F , G ) is a metric. It is symmetric and satisfies the triangle inequal-
ity. Because CDFs are left-continuous, d p ( F , G ) = 0 implies that F = G .
When p = 2, a kernel can be derived from the distance d 2 ( F , G ):
To show that k is indeed a kernel, consider a kernel matrix M = [ k ( F i , F j )], 1 ≤ i , j n . Let [ a , b ]
be a finite interval that covers the support of all density functions p i ( x ), 1 ≤ i n .
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