Abstract—We consider iterative subspace Wiener filters for

solving minimum mean-squared error and minimum variance

unbiased estimation problems in low-dimensional subspaces.

In this class of subspace filters, the conjugate direction and

multistage Wiener filters comprise two large subclasses, and

within these the conjugate gradient and orthogonal multistage

Wiener filters are the most prominent. We establish very general

equivalences between conjugate direction and multistage Wiener

filters, wherein the direction vectors of a conjugate direction filter

and the stagewise vectors of a multistage filter are related through

a one- term autoregressive recursion. By virtue of this recursion,

the expanding subspaces of the two filters are identical, even

though their bases for them are different . As a consequence, their

subspace filters, gradients, and mean-squared errors are identical

at each stage of the subspace iteration. If the conjugate direction

filter is a conjugate gradient filter, then the equivalent stagewise

filter is an orthogonal multistage filter, and vice-versa. If either

the conjugate gradient filter or the orthogonal multistage filter is

initialized at the cross-covariance vector between the signal and

the measurement , then each of the subspace filters iteratively

turns out a basis for a Krylov subspace.

Index Terms—Keywords: minimum mean-squared error filters,

Wiener filters, conjugate direction filters, conjugate gradient

filters, multistage filters, orthogonal multistage filters, quadratic

minimization, Krylov subspace.

I. INTRODUCTION

Rank- reduction is now an important element of many signal

processing algorithms that aim to reduce the dimension of

a measurement space in advance of detection, estimation,

classification, beamforming, or spectrum analysis. The idea,

in the analysis stage, is to linearly resolve a measurement

onto a sequence of expanding subspaces, until a satisfactory

trade-off has been achieved between the increased bias and

reduced variance associated with rank reduction. If the linearly

resolved measurements have a simple correlation structure

then the implementation of the reduced dimension filter in

the synthesis stage will be efficient.

This paper is addressed to iterative subspace Wiener filters

for solving minimum mean-squared error and minimum

variance unbiased estimation problems in low-dimensional

subspaces. In this class of subspace filters, the conjugate

direction and multistage Wiener filters comprise two large subclasses,

and within these the conjugate gradient and orthogonal

multistage Wiener filters are the most prominent.

The conjugate gradient algorithm for iteratively solving

quadratic minimization problems was discovered by Hestenes

and Stiefel in 1952 [1], and the multistage Wiener filter was

discovered by Goldstein and Reed in 1998 [2]. In spite of

the fact that there is no essential difference between quadratic

minimization, the solving of linear systems, and Wiener filtering,

the connection between conjugate gradient algorithms

and multistage filtering was not made until Dietl et al. [8],

and Weippert and Goldstein [3], [4], recognized a connection

between conjugate gradients and orthogonal multistage Wiener

filters. This insight was based on work by Honig, Xiao, Joham,

Sun, Zoltowski, and Goldstein, subsequently published in [5],

[6], [7], [8], regarding the Krylov subspace underlying the

multistage Wiener filter. Further connections were reported by

Zoltowski in his 2002 tutorial [9].

Our first aim in this paper is to further refine what is

currently known about connections between conjugate gradient

and multistage Wiener filters, by appealing to fundamental

insights in least -squares filtering. In so doing we clarify the

sense in which conjugate gradient and multistage filters are

compelling, rather than ad hoc, realizations of iterative filters.

Our second aim is to enlarge our understanding of iterative

subspace filtering by showing that there is an even larger class

of equivalences, of which the equivalence between conjugate

gradients and orthogonal multistage Wiener filters is only

a special case. That is, for every conjugate direction filter

there is an infinite family of equivalent multistage filters and,

conversely, for every multistage filter there is an infinite family

of equivalent conjugate direction filters. The fact that a multistage

Wiener filter has a conjugate direction implementation,

or vice-versa, is just a consequence of the autoregressive

connection between stagewise filters and conjugate directions.

If the stagewise filters are orthogonal, and they are initialized

at the cross-covariance vector between the signal and

the measurement, then they are an orthogonal basis for a

Krylov subspace. The equivalent conjugate direction filter is

then a conjugate gradient filter whose direction vectors are a

nonorthogonal (but conjugate with respect to the covariance

matrix) basis for the same Krylov subspace. Conversely, if the

conjugate direction filter is a conjugate gradient filter,
then

its equivalent multistage filter is orthogonal. Both turn out a

basis for the same Krylov subspace, assuming the conjugate

gradient filter is initialized at the cross-covariance.

It is worth emphasizing that our arguments are based

entirely on the algebraic structure of iterative subspace Wiener

filters, with no appeal to specific algorithms for computing

conjugate direction or multistage vectors. Late in the paper,

conjugate gradients are used only to illustrate general principals.

II. FILTERING AND QUADRATIC MINIMIZATION

Let us define the problem of linear minimum mean-squared

error estimation as follows. The complex scalar
is a

random variable to be estimated from the complex vector of

measurements, . We shall assume that the
signal x and

measurement y share the composite covariance matrix

where is the scalar
variance of x, r =

is the vector covariance of (x, y), and R =

is the matrix covariance of y. Throughout,

we use superscript * to denote Hermitian transpose.

From this second-order description we may write the meansquared

error of estimating x from w y as

with minimum value at
the Wiener solution w

satisfying Rw = r. This is a consequence of the principle of

orthogonality, which says .

This is the way a filtering theorist describes the filtering

experiment. An optimization theorist would say the problem

is to minimize the quadratic function Q(w), whose gradient

is , and whose Hessian is

, meaning the minimum is achieved where

the gradient is 0, namely . So a zero

gradient plays the same role in optimization theory as the

principle of orthogonality plays in filtering theory.

III. THE ALGEBRA AND GEOMETRY OF ITERATIVE

SUBSPACE WIENER FILTERS

Let us frame our discussion of iterative subspace Wiener

filters as follows. The complex scalar is a random

variable to be estimated from the complex vector of measurements,

. These measurements are a basis for the

Hilbert subspace , and any linear

estimate of x will lie in this subspace. Let us suppose that

we approach the filtering or optimization problem by first

resolving the measurements onto a k-dimensional basis A_{k} =

to produce the vector of coordinate

values

. In this notation,

is the kth complex scalar coordinate of

y, in the coordinate system A _{k}. The trick is to
determine

a simple algorithm for expanding this subspace in such a way

that H(z_{k}) is near to H(y) and the covariance matrix of z_{k}

is easy to invert.

The variables (x, z_{k}) share the composite covariance matrix

From this second-order description of the composite vector

we may write the mean-squared error of estimating x from

, as

with minimum value at

the kth Wiener solution vk satisfying .

This is a consequence of the principle of orthogonality, which

says . But w_{k}
=

A_{k}v_{k}
is just the kth approximation to the Wiener filter w =

R^{-1}r. Thus, this orthogonality condition may also be written

as

where is the

gradient of Q(w_{k}). This orthogonality may be iterated to

derive the important result that

where is the matrix of gradients, and

C_{k} is a lower triangular matrix.

The importance of this formula is the following : no matter

how the coordinate system A_{k} is chosen, its basis will be

orthogonal to the current gradient at w_{k}
=

A_{k}v_{k}, and all future gradients. Thus, as long as the
current

gradient is non-zero, the subspace will
continue

to expand in dimension, as a direct sum of the subspaces

and .
Thus, there is a clear suggestion that as

new coordinates of the form are built,

the old coordinates A_{k} and the gradient
are compelling

candidates in this expansion.

To this point we have required nothing special about the

coordinate system A_{k} and its corresponding analysis filters

. Moreover, even though gradient expansion
looks compelling,

there is, as yet, no indication of how these filters

might be iteratively computed. Nonetheless, as the following

arguments show, there is quite a lot that may be said about

the geometry of the approximating Wiener filters w_{k} = A_{k}v_{k}

and estimators . This geometry is inherited
from

the gradient orthogonality

in (1).

Fig. 1. Geometry of interative approximation to the Wiener
filter.

Fig. 2. Geometry of interative approximation to the Wiener
solution.

A. Geometry of Filters and Estimators

Consider the inner product

Thus, as illustrated in Figure 1, w_{k}
orthogonally decomposes

w = R^{-1}r as w = w_{k} +(w−w_{k}) with respect to the
norm

w*Rw.

There is a related story to be told for the sequence of

estimators , and consider

the inner product

where the overline notation denotes complex conjugation.

Thus, as illustrated in Figure 2, x_{k} orthogonally decomposes

.

These results show that subspace expansion to
for

purposes of approximating w and x by wk and x_{k} may

as well be viewed as subspace (or rank) reduction. These

conclusions are still general, requiring nothing special, like

conjugate directions, for the analysis filters A_{k}.

B. The Krylov Subspace

If A_{k} is a basis for the Krylov subspace
, where

is the Krylov matrix of Krylov

vectors, then is a linear combination of

the Krylov vectors ,
and is a basis for

the Krylov subspace . By choosing v_{o}
= 0, in which

case , and ,
then A_{1} = −r and

the induction argument is initialized. Moreover, the basis

will be an orthogonal basis for the Krylov subspace
.

What makes this argument go is the fact that w_{k} = A_{k}v_{k}
is

computed from the optimum Wiener filter v_{k} in the coordinate

system A_{k}.

Thus, every subspace Wiener filter that is initialized at the

one-dimensional subspace <r> and expanded using a linear

combination of the current subspace and current gradient,

will turn out an orthogonal basis for the Krylov subspace.

This conclusion has nothing whatsoever to do with the actual

algorithm used. Thus, this Krylov property is not peculiar to

any particular algorithm for designing subspace Wiener filters.

IV. ALGEBRAIC EQUIVALENCES

When we talk about a conjugate direction filter, then we

say the analysis stage consists of the direction vectors A_{k}=

D_{k} = [d_{1}, d_{2}, . . . , d_{k}] where
. A conjugate direction

Wiener filter is an iterative subspace Wiener filter in which the

coordinates of the original measurement in the direction subspace

are uncorrelated. That is, ,
where

is diagonal. We say the directions

are R-conjugate. The resulting iterative Wiener filter may then

be synthesized in a forward synthesis, and error formulas are

continued sums, a fact that is obvious, but not derived in this

paper.

When we talk about a multistage filter we say the analysis

stage consists of the multistage vectors A_{k} = G_{k} =

[g_{1}, g_{2}, . . . , g_{k}], where
. A multistage Wiener filter

is an iterative subspace Wiener filter in which the coordinates

of the original measurement in the multistage subspace are

tridiagonally correlated. That is,

, where T_{k} is tridiagonal. The resulting

iterative Wiener filter may then be synthesized in a backward

synthesis, and error formulas are continued fractions , a fact

that is almost obvious, but not derived in this paper.

Our aim is to show that for every conjugate direction Wiener

filter there is a family of equivalent multistage Wiener filters,

and vice-versa. Because of the autoregressive recursion that

will connect the conjugate direction vectors to the stagewise

vectors, the two implementations will share a common expanding

subspace. Thus Wiener filters will be computed in

a common subspace, and neither can outperform the other.

Generally the underlying subspace is not Krylov, so the

motivation to design something other than a standard conjugate

gradient or orthogonal multistage filter would be to construct

an expanding subspace that is better matched, for k < n, to

the optimum Wiener filter than is the Krylov space. If the

conjugate direction filter is a conjugate gradient Wiener filter,

and its corresponding multistage Wiener filter is
orthogonal,

then both are stuck in the Krylov subspace.

A. Conjugate direction and multistage Wiener filters

The idea behind any conjugate direction algorithm is to

force the coordinates z_{k} to be uncorrelated. That is,

: diagonal,

: lower triangular,

where is the matrix of gradients and C_{k}
is a lower

triangular matrix. Now suppose the filters G_{k} are defined

according to a first-order autoregressive recursion
=

G_{k}, for some arbitrary upper bidiagonal
. These filters

define the multistage Wiener filter

: tridiagonal,

: lower triangular.

The arbitrary choice of lower bidiagonal B_{k} indicates that

there are infinitely many multistage Wiener filters that are

equivalent to the given conjugate direction algorithm.

Conversely, suppose we start with a multistage Wiener filter

: tridiagonal,

: lower triangular,

where is a lower-bidiagonal–diagonal–upperbidiagonal

factorization of the tridiagonal matrix T_{k}. Define

the filters D_{k} according to the first-order autoregressive recursion

. These filters define a conjugate direction

Wiener filter

: diagonal,

: lower triangular.

The arbitrary scaling of B_{k} and
in the factorization

means there is an infinite family of
conjugate

direction Wiener filters that are equivalent to a given

multistage Wiener filter.

In summary, for every conjugate direction Wiener filter

there is a family of equivalent multistage Wiener filter, and

vice-versa. They share common filters, gradients, and meansquared

errors, but nothing special may be said about these

gradients or subspaces, except that they are common.

B. Conjugate gradient and orthogonal multistage Wiener filters

A conjugate direction algorithm is called a conjugate gradient

algorithm if the current direction vector is a linear

combination of the current negative gradient and the previous

direction vector [10]. In this case, the direction vectors D_{k}

are computed according to the conjugate gradient algorithm

, where
is an upper bidiagonal matrix, the

resulting gradients are orthogonal, and they tridiagonalize R:

: tridiagonal,

: diagonal.

The orthogonality of the gradient matrix
follows from

the fact that B_{k} and are lower
triangular, as is their

product, and the only Hermitian lower triangular matrix is

diagonal. We may follow the argument of [11] to show that

is an orthogonal basis for the Krylov
subspace .

In summary, any conjugate gradient Wiener filter defines

an equivalent orthogonal multistage Wiener filter whose filters

are G_{k} = −, whose gradients are
, and whose meansquared

error is the same as for the conjugate gradient

Wiener filter. Both filters turn out a basis for the Krylov

subspace , provided the conjugate gradient
Wiener filter

is initialized at the cross-covariance r.

Conversely, suppose we start with an orthogonal multistage

Wiener filter

: tridiagonal,

: diagonal,

: lower triangular.

and define the direction vectors . Then these

directions define a conjugate direction algorithm:

: diagonal,

: lower triangular.

Both G_{k} and are a causal basis
for , meaning that

G_{k}= U_{k}, where U_{k}is
upper triangular. Thus,

diagonal:: lower-times-upper.

We deduce from this that the upper triangular U_{k}and the

lower triangular B_{k}C_{k}are in fact diagonal. This means

G_{k} = , where k is diagonal, and
.

Thus the conjugate direction algorithm is a conjugate gradient

algorithm.

In summary, any orthogonal multistage Wiener filter determines

an equivalent conjugate gradient Wiener filter whose

filters, gradients, and mean-squared errors are the same as

for the orthogonal Wiener filter. The gradients are within a

diagonal matrix of the orthogonal multistage vectors (i.e., each

multistage vector is a scaled gradient). Both filters turn out a

basis for the Krylov subspace , provided the
orthogonal

multistage Wiener filter is initialized at the cross-covariance

r.

C. Further Observations

All subspace expanding filters of the form
have the property that

where the orthogonality comes from (1). If the A_{k} are composed

of conjugate directions, and A_{1} = [a_{1}] with a_{1}
= r,

then the A_{k} diagonalize R and build out a nonorthogonal basis

for the Krylov subspace. Moreover, the
tridiagonalize R.

The A_{k} (and ) may be generated by
any conjugate direction

algorithm or any corresponding multistage Wiener filter.

Fig. 3. Analysis and synthesis filters in a subspace
expanding filter.

V. MORE ON THE ALGEBRA AND GEOMETRY OF

CONJUGATE GRADIENT AND ORTHOGONAL MULTISTAGE

WIENER FILTERS

We have established the algebraic equivalence of conjugate

direction and multi-stage Wiener filters, thereby establishing

that their solutions and performances are equal at each iteration

(or stage) k. This generalizes prior results [3], [4] that

established the equivalence between conjugate gradient and

orthogonal multistage filters.

But what about the geometry of algorithms for expanding

the Krylov subspace in the conjugate gradient and multistage

filters? In this section we give the well-known conjugate gradient

algorithm, establish its action on the composite covariance

matrix R_{cc}, and illustrate the geometry of subspace expansion

for approximating the Wiener filter w and its error x −w*y.

Let us begin with Figure 3, and analyze the action of the

analysis stage on the covariance matrix R_{cc}:

If the analysis filters A_{k} are conjugate
direction, then the k×k

matrix A

in the south-east block above is diagonal:

Now, with
,
take the composite

vector (x, z_{k}) to its error form, as in Figure 3 with v_{k} =

[s_{1}, . . . , s_{k}]^{T} :

These equations hold for any subspace expansion in which

= diag ,
meaning z_{k} is a white vector.

This is characteristic of all conjugate direction algorithms.

Of all algorithms for producing conjugate directions, the

most famous is the conjugate gradient algorithm [1]:

Initialize: .

For k = 2, 3, . . . until convergence (k≤n) do

Compute gradient: ;

Compute direction:

Fig. 4. Geometry of subspace expansion in the conjugate
gradient Wiener

filter.

Compute step size: .

The corresponding filters and estimators at each iteration (or

stage) are v_{k} = [s_{1}, . . . , s_{k}]^{T} ,
w_{k} = w_{k-1} +a_{k}s_{k}, and x_{k} =

, with w_{1} = a_{1}s_{1}
and x_{1} = . Thus all

recursions are forward recursions, with no recomputation of

steps, filters, or estimates as stages are added.

The geometry of this expansion is illustrated in Figure 4.

The first important insight is that the new direction vector a_{k}

is an autoregressive recursion on the old: a_{k} = ka_{k-1} − k.

This is just the simplest of recursions on {a_{1}, . . . , a_{k-1}}
that

would have produced the same conjugate direction effect. The

second insight is that the Krylov subspace
expands as

the direct sum , further justifying the term

conjugate gradient. Of course, if the A_{k} are composed of

conjugate directions, and A_{1}= [a_{1}] with a_{1} = r,
then a

gradient subspace expansion may be realized with a conjugate

gradient algorithm or its corresponding orthogonal multistage

Wiener filter.

VI. CONCLUSIONS

Our conclusions are the following:

• For any iterative subspace Wiener filter, the subspace A_{k}

of dimension k is orthogonal to the current and future

gradients . This is the orthogonality

principle at work.

• Iterative subspace Wiener filters and their corresponding

estimators orthogonally decompose full-rank solutions,

making them (equivalently) dimension-expanding

or dimension-reducing solutions.

• Any subspace expansion in an iterative subspace Wiener

filter that uses the direct sum of the past subspace and

the current gradient turns out an orthogonal basis for the

Krylov subspace, assuming the algorithm is initialized at

the cross-covariance vector.

• For every multistage Wiener filter there is a family of

equivalent conjugate direction Wiener filters, with identical

subspaces, gradients, and mean-squared errors. And

vice-versa.

• For every orthogonal multistage Wiener filter there is a

family of equivalent conjugate gradient Wiener filters,

with identical subspaces, gradients, and mean-squared

errors. And vice-versa.

• If an orthogonal multistage Wiener filter is initialized at

the cross-covariance, then it and its equivalent conjugate

gradient Wiener filter turn out the Krylov subspace. And

vice-versa.

Acknowledgment. The authors acknowledge insightful discussions

with L. Todd McWhorter in the early stages (k =

1, 2) of this work.

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