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We consider wavelet estimation of the time-dependent (evolutionary) power spectrum of a locally stationary time series. Allowing for departures from stationary proves useful for modelling, e.g., transient phenomena, quasi-oscillating behaviour or spectrum modulation. In our work wavelets are used to provide an adaptive local smoothing of a short-time periodogram in the time-freqeuncy plane. For this, in contrast to classical nonparametric (linear) approaches we use nonlinear thresholding of the empirical wavelet coefficients of the evolutionary spectrum. We show how these techniques allow for both adaptively reconstructing the local structure in the time-frequency plane and for denoising the resulting estimates. To this end a threshold choice is derived which is motivated by minimax properties w.r.t. the integrated mean squared error. Our approach is based on a 2-d orthogonal wavelet transform modified by using a cardinal Lagrange interpolation function on the finest scale. As an example, we apply our procedure to a time-varying spectrum motivated from mobile radio propagation.

We derive minimax rates for estimation in anisotropic smoothness classes. This rate is attained by a coordinatewise thresholded wavelet estimator based on a tensor product basis with separate scale parameter for every dimension. It is shown that this basis is superior to its one-scale multiresolution analog, if different degrees of smoothness in different directions are present.; As an important application we introduce a new adaptive wavelet estimator of the time-dependent spectrum of a locally stationary time series. Using this model which was resently developed by Dahlhaus, we show that the resulting estimator attains nearly the rate, which is optimal in Gaussian white noise, simultaneously over a wide range of smoothness classes. Moreover, by our new approach we overcome the difficulty of how to choose the right amount of smoothing, i.e. how to adapt to the appropriate resolution, for reconstructing the local structure of the evolutionary spectrum in the time-frequency plane.

With this article we first like to give a brief review on wavelet thresholding methods in non-Gaussian and non-i.i.d. situations, respectively. Many of these applications are based on Gaussian approximations of the empirical coefficients. For regression and density estimation with independent observations, we establish joint asymptotic normality of the empirical coefficients by means of strong approximations. Then we describe how one can prove asymptotic normality under mixing conditions on the observations by cumulant techniques.; In the second part, we apply these non-linear adaptive shrinking schemes to spectral estimation problems for both a stationary and a non-stationary time series setup. For the latter one, in a model of Dahlhaus on the evolutionary spectrum of a locally stationary time series, we present two different approaches. Moreover, we show that in classes of anisotropic function spaces an appropriately chosen wavelet basis automatically adapts to possibly different degrees of regularity for the different directions. The resulting fully-adaptive spectral estimator attains the rate that is optimal in the idealized Gaussian white noise model up to a logarithmic factor.