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Time-frequency distributions, such as smoothed pseudo Wigner-Ville distribution (SPWVD) and complex demodulation (CDM) provide useful time-varying spectral parameter estimators. However, each of these methods has limitations that a joint utilization could largely reduce, due to their interesting complementary features. The aim of this paper is to validate the joint SPWVD-CDM method on synthetic and real cardiovascular time series with normal and reduced variability such as in autonomic blockade or autonomic deficiency. We propose two indexes related to the noise present in the signal and to the dispersion of the power spectrum in order to validate instantaneous parameter estimation. In the low-frequency band, the interpretation of the instantaneous frequency and phase of cardiovascular time-series should be discarded in many real-life situations. Conversely, in the high frequency band, under paced breathing, the reliability of the instantaneous parameters is demonstrated even in conditions of reduced cardiovascular variability.
Date of Publication: Dec. 2002