Minimum output mutual information is regarded as a natural criterion for independent component analysis (ICA) and is used as the performance measure in many ICA algorithms. Two common approaches in information-theoretic ICA algorithms are minimum mutual information and maximum output entropy approaches. In the former approach, we substitute some form of probability density function (pdf) estimate into the mutual information expression, and in the latter we incorporate the source pdf assumption in the algorithm through the use of nonlinearities matched to the corresponding cumulative density functions (cdf). Alternative solutions to ICA use higher-order cumulant-based optimization criteria, which are related to either one of these approaches through truncated series approximations for densities. In this article, we propose a new ICA algorithm motivated by the maximum entropy principle (for estimating signal distributions). The optimality criterion is the minimum output mutual information, where the estimated pdfs are from the exponential family and are approximate solutions to a constrained entropy maximization problem. This approach yields an upper bound for the actual mutual information of the output signals—hence, the name minimax mutual information ICA algorithm. In addition, we demonstrate that for a specific selection of the constraint functions in the maximum entropy density estimation procedure, the algorithm relates strongly to ICA methods using higher-order cumulants.

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