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Similarity in spatial utilization distributions measured by the earth mover's distance


Kranstauber, Bart; Smolla, Marco; Safi, Kamran (2017). Similarity in spatial utilization distributions measured by the earth mover's distance. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 8(2):155-160.

Abstract

Estimating the similarity in space use (spatio-temporal home range overlap) of animals is important for many questions regarding behavioural ecology, wildlife management and conservation. The current methods that calculate joint space use generally do not account for proximity in space use, as all of them rely on the differences between the exact spatial overlay of utilization distributions, while spatial distances between distributions should be considered to truly quantify similarity.
We implemented the earth mover's distance (EMD), a spatially explicit method, that quantifies similarity between utilization distributions by calculating the effort it takes to shape one utilization distribution landscape into another, hence EMD.
The EMD is a method commonly used in image retrieval applications, and we propose its use to calculate similarity in space use in the framework of movement ecology.
We show that the EMD is a consistent and useful as well as versatile measure of overlap and provide an easy to use implementation in the r package move.

Abstract

Estimating the similarity in space use (spatio-temporal home range overlap) of animals is important for many questions regarding behavioural ecology, wildlife management and conservation. The current methods that calculate joint space use generally do not account for proximity in space use, as all of them rely on the differences between the exact spatial overlay of utilization distributions, while spatial distances between distributions should be considered to truly quantify similarity.
We implemented the earth mover's distance (EMD), a spatially explicit method, that quantifies similarity between utilization distributions by calculating the effort it takes to shape one utilization distribution landscape into another, hence EMD.
The EMD is a method commonly used in image retrieval applications, and we propose its use to calculate similarity in space use in the framework of movement ecology.
We show that the EMD is a consistent and useful as well as versatile measure of overlap and provide an easy to use implementation in the r package move.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Language:English
Date:2017
Deposited On:20 Oct 2016 07:00
Last Modified:21 Feb 2018 08:31
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:2041-210X
OA Status:Closed
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/2041-210X.12649

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