Chapter 7. What is Independent Component Analysis?

  1. Aapo Hyvärinen,
  2. Juha Karhunen and
  3. Erkki Oja

Published Online: 15 MAY 2002

DOI: 10.1002/0471221317.ch7

Independent Component Analysis

Independent Component Analysis

How to Cite

Hyvärinen, A., Karhunen, J. and Oja, E. (2001) What is Independent Component Analysis?, in Independent Component Analysis, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, USA. doi: 10.1002/0471221317.ch7

Author Information

  1. Neural Networks Research Center, Helsinki University of Technology, Finland

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 MAY 2002
  2. Published Print: 21 MAY 2001

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780471405405

Online ISBN: 9780471221319



  • independent component analysis (ICA);
  • motivation;
  • whitening;
  • gaussian variables


In this chapter, the basic concepts of independent component analysis (ICA) are defined. The authors start by discussing a couple of practical applications. These serve as motivation for the mathematical formulation of ICA, which is given in the form of a statistical estimation problem. The authors then consider under what conditions this model can be estimated, and what exactly can be estimated. After these basic definitions, they go on to discuss the connection between ICA and well-known methods that are somewhat similar, namely principal component analysis (PCA), decorrelation, whitening, and sphering.