In many cases only significant events, such as bumps or other transients in a signal are of relevance. The objective is to be able to isolate these events in a meaningful manner so that they may be automatically recognised and either removed or extracted for analysis in a structured way.
There are two principle objectives initially: one is to be able to recognise an event and the other is to be able to mark it in some way so that subsequent software is able to operate on the actual event. We must also note that an event has a start and an end; the criterion we use to recognise the start may not necessarily be the same criterion we use to recognise the end. Searches for the start and end points are carried out on a Reference Signal. How the reference signal is formed is discussed in detail later, it includes the original signal, various running statistical measures such as the dynamic RMS, differentiation for slope detection, integration and so on. In many cases the start criterion will be some check on the level achieved by the reference signal. By the time any check level has been detected then it is almost certain that the event started earlier! That is, a pre trigger capability is essential.