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In communication systems, nonlinear adaptive filtering has become increasingly popular in a variety of applications such as channel equalization, echo cancellation and speech coding. However, existing nonlinear adaptive filters such as polynomial (truncated Volterra series) filters and multilayer perceptrons suffer from a number of problems. First, although high Order polynomials can approximate complex nonlinearities, they also train very slowly. Second, there is no systematic and efficient way to select their structure. As for multilayer perceptrons, they have a very complicated structure and train extremely slowly Motivated by the success of classification and regression trees on difficult nonlinear and nonparametfic problems, we propose the idea of a tree-structured piecewise linear adaptive filter. In the proposed method each node in a tree is associated with a linear filter restricted to a polygonal domain, and this is done in such a way that each pruned subtree is associated with a piecewise linear filter. A training sequence is used to adaptively update the filter coefficients and domains at each node, and to select the best pruned subtree and the corresponding piecewise linear filter. The tree structured approach offers several advantages. First, it makes use of standard linear adaptive filtering techniques at each node to find the corresponding Conditional linear filter. Second, it allows for efficient selection of the subtree and the corresponding piecewise linear filter of appropriate complexity. Overall, the approach is computationally efficient and conceptually simple. The tree-structured piecewise linear adaptive filter bears some similarity to classification and regression trees. But it is actually quite different from a classification and regression tree. Here the terminal nodes are not just assigned a region and a class label or a regression value, but rather represent: a linear filter with restricted domain, It is also different in that classification and regression trees are determined in a batch mode offline, whereas the tree-structured adaptive filter is determined recursively in real-time. We first develop the specific structure of a tree-structured piecewise linear adaptive filter and derive a stochastic gradient-based training algorithm. We then carry out a rigorous convergence analysis of the proposed training algorithm for the tree-structured filter. Here we show the mean-square convergence of the adaptively trained tree-structured piecewise linear filter to the optimal tree-structured piecewise linear filter. Same new techniques are developed for analyzing stochastic gradient algorithms with fixed gains and (nonstandard) dependent data. Finally, numerical experiments are performed to show the computational and performance advantages of the tree-structured piecewise linear filter over linear and polynomial filters for equalization of high frequency channels with severe intersymbol interference, echo cancellation in telephone networks and predictive coding of speech signals.

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