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We present a comparative analysis of a number of methods applicable to period searches in short period variable stars. In particular methods which have the ability to detect a (sometimes large) secular period change are examined. Methods involving phase dispersion minimization, FFT, least-squares analysis of characteristic events, and O-C calculations are compared. Mean period determination methods are useful for the first approximation in the determination of signals which have time-dependent signals. These methods are also capable of reliable period determinations even when the data lacks strongly repeating periodic behavior like that in some cataclysmic variable stars.
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