Combining heterogeneous spatial datasets with process-based spatial fusion models: a unifying framework

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Authors Craig Wang, Reinhard Furrer
Journal/Conference Name arXiv e-prints
Paper Category
Paper Abstract In modern spatial statistics, the structure of data that is collected has become more heterogeneous. Depending on the type of spatial data, different modeling strategies for spatial data are used. For example, a kriging approach for geostatistical data; a Gaussian Markov random field model for lattice data; or a log Gaussian Cox process for point-pattern data. Despite these different modeling choices, the nature of underlying scientific data-generating (latent) processes is often the same, which can be represented by some continuous spatial surfaces. In this paper, we introduce a unifying framework for process-based multivariate spatial fusion models. The framework can jointly analyze all three aforementioned types of spatial data (or any combinations thereof). Moreover, the framework accommodates different conditional distributions for geostatistical and lattice data. We show that some established approaches, such as linear models of coregionalization, can be viewed as special cases of our proposed framework. We offer flexible and scalable implementations in R using Stan and INLA. Simulation studies confirm that the predictive performance of latent processes improves as we move from univariate spatial models to multivariate spatial fusion models. The introduced framework is illustrated using a cross-sectional study linked with a national cohort dataset in Switzerland, we examine differences in underlying spatial risk patterns between respiratory disease and lung cancer.
Date of publication 2019
Code Programming Language R
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