Chapter 13. Fast Fourier Transform
The discrete Fourier transform (DFT) plays an important role in many scientific and technical applications, including time series and waveform analysis, solutions to linear partial differential equations, convolution, digital signal processing, and image filtering. The DFT is a linear transformation that maps n regularly sampled points from a cycle of a periodic signal, like a sine wave, onto an equal number of points representing the frequency spectrum of the signal. In 1965, Cooley and Tukey devised an algorithm to compute the DFT of an n-point series in Q(n log n) operations. Their new algorithm was a significant improvement over previously known methods for computing the DFT, which required Q(n2) operations. The revolutionary algorithm by Cooley and Tukey and its variations are referred to as the fast Fourier transform (FFT). Due to its wide application in scientific and engineering fields, there has been a lot of interest in implementing FFT on parallel computers.
Several different forms of the FFT algorithm exist. This chapter discusses its simplest form, the one-dimensional, unordered, radix-2 FFT. Parallel formulations of higher-radix and multidimensional FFTs are similar to the simple algorithm discussed in this chapter because the underlying ideas behind all sequential FFT algorithms are the same. An ordered FFT is obtained by performing bit reversal (Section 13.4) on the output sequence of an unordered FFT. Bit reversal does not affect the overall complexity of a parallel implementation of FFT.
In this chapter we discuss two parallel formulations of the basic algorithm: the binary-exchange algorithm and the transpose algorithm. Depending on the size of the input n, the number of processes p, and the memory or network bandwidth, one of these may run faster than the other.