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ICA is a very general-purpose statistical technique in which observed random data are linearly transformed into components that are maximally independent from each other, and simultaneously have ``interesting'' distributions. ICA can be formulated as the estimation of a latent variable model. The intuitive notion of maximum nongaussianity can be used to derive different objective functions whose optimization enables the estimation of the ICA model. Alternatively, one may use more classical notions like maximum likelihood estimation or minimization of mutual information to estimate ICA; somewhat surprisingly, these approaches are (approximatively) equivalent. A computationally very efficient method performing the actual estimation is given by the FastICA algorithm. Applications of ICA can be found in many different areas such as audio processing, biomedical signal processing, image processing, telecommunications, and econometrics.

Aapo Hyvarinen