Curse of dimensionality, interactive demo

October 27, 2014


Statistical Visualization  / 

Jeff Leek was trying to explain the curse of dimensionality and realized that there had to be a better way! Leek’s student Prasad Patil cooked up an interactive to demonstrate the curse.

From Leek:

I recently was contacted for an interview about the curse of dimensionality. During the course of the conversation, I realized how hard it is to explain the curse to a general audience. One of the best descriptions I could come up with was trying to describe sampling from a unit line, square, cube, etc. and taking samples with side length fixed. You would capture fewer and fewer points. As I was saying this, I realized it is a pretty bad way to explain the curse of dimensionality in words.

Here’s the Wikipedia page on the curse, if you like. Or you can just give Patil’s interactive a whirl.