I am new to wavelet transformation. I am learning it as a tool for signal processing. I have a time series that I want to analyze. I tried to learn wavelet transformation by applying it to a periodic function.

This is my code:

## Meta imports

import numpy as np
import scipy as sp
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
from scipy import signal

## Sine wave

## making time array

dt   = 1 / 1e3 ## interval between two consecutive time
t    = np.arange(1000)*dt
f    = 100
# sine wave
sig  = 5 * np.sin(2 * np.pi * f * t)

fs   = 1. / dt
w    = 8.       

freq   = np.linspace(50, 150, num = 100)
widths = w*fs / (2*freq*np.pi)

cwtm   = signal.cwt(sig, signal.morlet2, widths, w=w)
outz   = np.abs(cwtm**2)

plt.pcolormesh(t, freq, outz, cmap='jet')
plt.ylim(min(freq), max(freq))

plt.xlabel('Time (s)')
plt.ylabel('Freq (Hz)')

I got the following plots:

  1. Wavelet Transformation
  2. Signal

Now, I don't really know how to decide the widths, freq or w. I tried writing similar code for my data and cwtr returns 0 for all time.

I also tried using pywt.cwt but wasn't able to get the appropriate wavelet plot.

These are the resources I used to understand Wavelet transformation:

  1. scipy.signal.cwt
  2. Wavelet analysis applied to the real dataset in a quick and easy way

I would like to understand the syntax of the wavelet transformation, how to decide widths, frequency etc. Also if you have any recommendations for resources, that would be awesome.

  • $\begingroup$ What's the goal of your analysis? What are you trying to find out? $\endgroup$
    – Hilmar
    Commented Sep 15, 2022 at 12:36
  • $\begingroup$ I applied Fourier transformation on my data previously. Now, I am trying to conform our fft finding using wavelet transformation. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 15, 2022 at 15:34

1 Answer 1


widths is the array of scale parameters. For the CWT, scale parameter $a$ is inversely proportional to the corresponding Fourier frequency $f$, i.e. $$ a=c_a/f, $$ where $c_a$ is a proportionality constant whose value depends on the specific wavelet function. In the Discrete Fourier Transform (DFT), we know $$ 2\pi/L\leq f< \pi N/L, $$ where $L$ is the physical length of one signal, $N$ is the number of sampling points of the signal, and $\pi N/L$ is the Nyquist frequency. Therefore, the range of values of $a$ is $$ c_a L/(\pi N)< a\leq c_a L/(2\pi). $$

The proportionality constant $c_a$ can be determined in a variety of ways. For more information on this, I recommend you to refer to

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks a lot for clarifying what widths really mean. I appreciate the resources you shared. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 16, 2022 at 23:55

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