Time-frequency window leakage in the short-time Fourier transform

Douglas L. Jones, Thomas W. Parks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Conventional frequency-domain window-leakage analysis accurately describes the leakage in the short-time Fourier transform only for stationary signals. Leakage in the time-frequency plane from concentrated transient or nonstationary signals can be effectively analyzed by use of a time-frequency window-leakage envelope with rectangular contours. This envelope is obtained from the Wigner distribution of the analysis window, with appropriate corrections for the sidelobe leakage. The time-frequency window-leakage envelope gives insight into the tradeoffs in time-frequency leakage between various windows and allows quick and accurate estimates of the leakage in the short-time Fourier transform. A simple technique for constructing signals with Wigner distributions that are linear transformations of the Wigner distribution of a known signal is developed. With this technique, windows with a variety of time-frequency orientations and leakage behavior can be developed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)263-286
Number of pages24
JournalCircuits, Systems, and Signal Processing
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1987
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Applied Mathematics


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