`Information Field Theory <http://www.mpa-garching.mpg.de/ift/>`_ [1]_ (IFT) is information theory, the logic of reasoning under uncertainty, applied to fields.
`Information Field Theory <http://www.mpa-garching.mpg.de/ift/>`_ [1]_ (IFT) is information theory, the logic of reasoning under uncertainty, applied to fields.
A field can be any quantity defined over some space, e.g. the air temperature over Europe, the magnetic field strength in the Milky Way, or the matter density in the Universe.
A field can be any quantity defined over some space, e.g. the air temperature over Europe, the magnetic field strength in the Milky Way, or the matter density in the Universe.
IFT describes how data and knowledge can be used to infer field properties.
IFT describes how data and knowledge can be used to infer field properties.
**NIFTy** [1]_, [2]_, "\ **N**\umerical **I**\nformation **F**\ield **T**\heor\ **y**\ ", is a versatile library designed to enable the development of signal inference algorithms that are independent of the underlying spatial grid and its resolution.
**NIFTy** [1]_, [2]_, "\ **N**\umerical **I**\nformation **F**\ield **T**\heor\ **y**\ ", is a versatile library designed to enable the development of signal inference algorithms that are independent of the underlying grids (spatial, spectral, temporal, …) and their resolutions.
Its object-oriented framework is written in Python, although it accesses libraries written in C++ and C for efficiency.
Its object-oriented framework is written in Python, although it accesses libraries written in C++ and C for efficiency.
NIFTy offers a toolkit that abstracts discretized representations of continuous spaces, fields in these spaces, and operators acting on fields into classes.
NIFTy offers a toolkit that abstracts discretized representations of continuous spaces, fields in these spaces, and operators acting on these fields into classes.
Thereby, the correct normalization of operations on fields is taken care of automatically without concerning the user.
This allows for an abstract formulation and programming of inference algorithms, including those derived within information field theory.
This allows for an abstract formulation and programming of inference algorithms, including those derived within information field theory.
Thus, NIFTy permits its user to rapidly prototype algorithms in 1D and then apply the developed code in higher-dimensional settings to real world problems.
NIFTy's interface is designed to resemble IFT formulae in the sense that the user implements algorithms in NIFTy independent of the topology of the underlying spaces and the discretization scheme.
Thus, the user can develop algorithms on subsets of problems and on spaces where the detailed performance of the algorithm can be properly evaluated and then easily generalize them to other, more complex spaces and the full problem, respectively.
The set of spaces on which NIFTy operates comprises point sets, *n*-dimensional regular grids, spherical spaces, their harmonic counterparts, and product spaces constructed as combinations of those.
The set of spaces on which NIFTy operates comprises point sets, *n*-dimensional regular grids, spherical spaces, their harmonic counterparts, and product spaces constructed as combinations of those.
NIFTy takes care of numerical subtleties like the normalization of operations on fields and the numerical representation of model components, allowing the user to focus on formulating the abstract inference procedures and process-specific model properties.