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Covariance tapering for interpolation of large spatial datasets


Furrer, R; Genton, M; Nychka, D (2006). Covariance tapering for interpolation of large spatial datasets. Journal of Computational and Graphical Statistics, 15(3):502-523.

Abstract

Interpolation of a spatially correlated random process is used in many scientific areas. The best unbiased linear predictor, often called a kriging predictor in geostatistical science, requires the solution of a (possibly large) linear system based on the covariance matrix of the observations. In this article, we show that tapering the correct covariance matrix with an appropriate compactly supported positive definite function reduces the computational burden significantly and still leads to an asymptotically optimal mean squared error. The effect of tapering is to create a sparse approximate linear system that can then be solved using sparse matrix algorithms. Monte Carlo simulations support the theoretical results. An application to a large climatological precipitation dataset is presented as a concrete and practical illustration.

Abstract

Interpolation of a spatially correlated random process is used in many scientific areas. The best unbiased linear predictor, often called a kriging predictor in geostatistical science, requires the solution of a (possibly large) linear system based on the covariance matrix of the observations. In this article, we show that tapering the correct covariance matrix with an appropriate compactly supported positive definite function reduces the computational burden significantly and still leads to an asymptotically optimal mean squared error. The effect of tapering is to create a sparse approximate linear system that can then be solved using sparse matrix algorithms. Monte Carlo simulations support the theoretical results. An application to a large climatological precipitation dataset is presented as a concrete and practical illustration.

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149 citations in Web of Science®
173 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Mathematics
Dewey Decimal Classification:510 Mathematics
Language:English
Date:2006
Deposited On:11 Jan 2010 14:55
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 13:24
Publisher:American Statistical Association
ISSN:1061-8600
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1198/106186006X132178

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