What’s the frequency, Kenneth?

What’s the frequency, Kenneth?

First, if you get the reference in the title, you are old. Otherwise, let me google that for you.

Second, a Reddit user recently posted this question

I have temperatures reading over times (2 secs interval) in a computer that is control by an automatic fan. The temperature fluctuate between 55 to 65 in approximately sine wave fashion. I wish to find out the average time between each cycle of the wave (time between 55 to 65 then 55 again the average over the entire data sets which includes many of those cycles) . What sort of statistical analysis do I use?

[The following] is one of my data set represents one of the system configuration. Temperature reading are taken every 2 seconds. Please show me how you guys do it and which software. I would hope for something low tech like libreoffice or excel. Hopefully nothing too fancy is needed.

A few people recommended using FFT, and I agreed, but I also suggested two other options:

  1. Use a cepstrum, or
  2. Keep it simple and use zero-crossings instead.

And then another person suggested autocorrelation.

I ran some experiments to see what each of these solutions looks like and what works best. If you are too busy for the details, I think the best option is computing the distance between zero crossings using a spline fitted to the smoothed data.

If you want the details, they are in this Jupyter notebook.

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