Stationarity test

version 1.3 (108 KB) by E. Cheynet
The stationarity of a time series is evaluated by using the reverse arrangement test or moving-window functions


Updated 8 May 2022

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Matlab functions to test the stationarity of a random process

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The N-th order stationarity [1] of a random process is assessed using two tests. In the present submission, only the first and second-order stationarities are described. A random process is stationary at the first order if its mean does not change (significantly) with the time. Similarly, a random process is stationary at the second-order if its variance or standard deviation does not change (significantly) with the time.

The LiveScript example considers the case of turbulent velocity time histories. Their stationarity is assessed using two different approaches:

  • A non-parametric test [2,3], which detects trends and classify the time as non-stationary if the trend is not negligible.
  • A parametric test based on moving-window functions that compare the instantaneous mean or standard deviation to the one obtained without any detrending.

To run the examples, you will need some additional functions:


The present submission contains:

  • The function RA_test.m, which implements the reverse-arrangement test by Bendat and piersol[2] but also Siegel et al [3]
  • The function MW_test.m, which implement a parametric stationarity test relying on moving windows functions.
  • A LiveScript example Documentation.mlx


[1] Priestley, M. B. (1981). Spectral Analysis and Time Series. Academic Press. ISBN 0-12-564922-3.

[2] Bendat and piersol, Random data, 2010, page 99

[3] Siegel, Sidney, and N. J. Castellan. "Non-para-metric statistics for the behavioral sciences." (1988).

Cite As

E. Cheynet. ECheynet/StationaryTests: Sationarity Tests for Random Process. Zenodo, 2020, doi:10.5281/ZENODO.3891111.

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Cheynet, Etienne, et al. “Flow Distortion Recorded by Sonic Anemometers on a Long-Span Bridge: Towards a Better Modelling of the Dynamic Wind Load in Full-Scale.” Journal of Sound and Vibration, vol. 450, Elsevier BV, June 2019, pp. 214–30, doi:10.1016/j.jsv.2019.03.013.

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MATLAB Release Compatibility
Created with R2020b
Compatible with R2016a and later releases
Platform Compatibility
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To view or report issues in this GitHub add-on, visit the GitHub Repository.
To view or report issues in this GitHub add-on, visit the GitHub Repository.