In inverse problems it is quite usual to encounter equations that are ill-posed and require regularization aimed at finding stable approximate solutions when the given data are noisy. In this paper, we discuss definitions and concepts for the degree of ill-posedness for linear operator equations in a Hilbert space setting. It is important to distinguish between a global version of such degree taking into account the smoothing properties of the forward operator, only, and a local version combining that with the corresponding solution smoothness. We include the rarely discussed case of non-compact forward operators and explain why the usual notion of degree of ill-posedness cannot be used in this case.
"On the Degree of Ill-posedness for Linear Problems with Noncompact Operators." Methods Appl. Anal. 17 (4) 445 - 462, December 2010.