Frequency-Resolved Optical Gating Recovery via Smoothing Gradient

Samuel Pinilla, Tamir Bendory, Yonina C. Eldar, Henry Arguello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Frequency-resolved optical gating (FROG) is a popular technique for complete characterization of ultrashort laser pulses. The acquired data in FROG, called FROG trace, is the Fourier magnitude of the product of the unknown pulse with a time-shifted version of itself, for several different shifts. To estimate the pulse from the FROG trace, we propose an algorithm that minimizes a smoothed non-convex least-squares objective function. The method consists of two steps. First, we approximate the pulse by an iterative spectral algorithm. Then, the attained initialization is refined based upon a sequence of block stochastic gradient iterations. The algorithm is theoretically simple, numerically scalable, and easy-To-implement. Empirically, our approach outperforms the state-of-The-Art when the FROG trace is incomplete, that is, when only few shifts are recorded. Simulations also suggest that the proposed algorithm exhibits similar computational cost compared to a state-of-The-Art technique for both complete and incomplete data. In addition, we prove that in the vicinity of the true solution, the algorithm converges to a critical point. A Matlab implementation is publicly available at

Original languageEnglish
Article number8890893
Pages (from-to)6121-6132
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Signal Processing
Issue number23
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • FROG
  • Pulse reconstruction
  • phase retrieval
  • smoothing gradient technique
  • spectral algorithm
  • ultrashort pulse characterization


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