Functional data analysis in a mixed-effects model framework is done using operator calculus. In this approach the functional parameters are treated as serially correlated effects giving an alternative to the penalized likelihood approach, where the functional parameters are treated as fixed effects. Operator approximations for the necessary matrix computations are proposed, and semi-explicit and numerically stable formulae of linear computational complexity are derived for likelihood analysis. The operator approach renders the usage of a functional basis unnecessary and clarifies the role of the boundary conditions.
"Functional data analysis in an operator-based mixed-model framework." Bernoulli 19 (1) 1 - 17, February 2013. https://doi.org/10.3150/11-BEJ389