Here A is the modeling operator, x is the model vector, d is the data, and R is the regularizing operator. The noise level is relative, as that is usually the most useful way to pose noise estimates. Thus solution of this problem demands quadratically constrained quadratic minimization.
The solution minimizes whatever quality is represented by R, subject to fitting the data to a relative error level .The first order necessary conditions of optimality state that the solution satisfies
The first condition states parallelism of the gradients of the constraint and objective functions. The second implies that either the constraint is satisfied as an equality - i.e. the solution is on the boundary of the set of constraint-satisfying models - or else the Lagrange multiplier vanishes, which means that the most regular solution actually has a smaller residual than assumed - i.e. is larger than the actual noise level.
The first condition is the familiar normal equation of the unconstrained problem
where is the ``notoriously elusive'' relative weight between model space (really constraint space) and data space.
The point of this paper, and the basis of the Moré-Hebden algorithm, is that the first order conditions make the a function of the assumed noise level .Whenever can be estimated directly, this relationship provide a method of estimating .