Objective comparison of methods to decode anomalous diffusion
Gorka Muñoz-Gil, Giovanni Volpe, Miguel Angel Garcia-March, Erez Aghion, Aykut Argun, Chang Beom Hong, Tom Bland, Stefano Bo, J. Alberto Conejero, Nicolás Firbas, Òscar Garibo i Orts, Alessia Gentili, Zihan Huang, Jae-Hyung Jeon, Hélène Kabbech, Yeongjin Kim, Patrycja Kowalek, Diego Krapf, Hanna Loch-Olszewska, Michael A. Lomholt, Jean-Baptiste Masson, Philipp G. Meyer, Seongyu Park, Borja Requena, Ihor Smal, Taegeun Song, Janusz Szwabiński, Samudrajit Thapa, Hippolyte Verdier, Giorgio Volpe, Arthur Widera, Maciej Lewenstein, Ralf Metzler, and Carlo Manzo
Deviations from Brownian motion leading to anomalous diffusion are ubiquitously found in trans- port dynamics, playing a crucial role in phenomena from quantum physics to life sciences. The detection and characterization of anomalous diffusion from the measurement of an individual tra- jectory are challenging tasks, which traditionally rely on calculating the mean squared displacement of the trajectory. However, this approach breaks down for cases of important practical interest, e.g., short or noisy trajectories, ensembles of heterogeneous trajectories, or non-ergodic processes. Re- cently, several new approaches have been proposed, mostly building on the ongoing machine-learning revolution. Aiming to perform an objective comparison of methods, we gathered the community and organized an open competition, the Anomalous Diffusion challenge (AnDi). Participating teams independently applied their own algorithms to a commonly-defined dataset including diverse con- ditions. Although no single method performed best across all scenarios, the results revealed clear differences between the various approaches, providing practical advice for users and a benchmark for developers.