Multivariate spatially oriented data sets are prevalent in the environmental and physical sciences. Scientists seek to jointly model multiple variables, each indexed by a spatial location, to capture any underlying spatial association for each variable and associations among the different dependent variables. Multivariate latent spatial process models have proved effective in driving statistical inference and rendering better predictive inference at arbitrary locations for the spatial process. High‐dimensional multivariate spatial data, which are the theme of this article, refer to data sets where the number of spatial locations and the number of spatially dependent variables is very large. The field has witnessed substantial developments in scalable models for univariate spatial processes, but such methods for multivariate spatial processes, especially when the number of outcomes are moderately large, are limited in comparison. Here, we extend scalable modeling strategies for a single process to multivariate processes. We pursue Bayesian inference, which is attractive for full uncertainty quantification of the latent spatial process. Our approach exploits distribution theory for the matrix‐normal distribution, which we use to construct scalable versions of a hierarchical linear model of coregionalization (LMC) and spatial factor models that deliver inference over a high‐dimensional parameter space including the latent spatial process. We illustrate the computational and inferential benefits of our algorithms over competing methods using simulation studies and an analysis of a massive vegetation index data set.
With scientific data available at geocoded locations, investigators are increasingly turning to spatial process models for carrying out statistical inference. Over the last decade, hierarchical models implemented through Markov chain Monte Carlo methods have become especially popular for spatial modelling, given their flexibility and power to fit models that would be infeasible with classical methods as well as their avoidance of possibly inappropriate asymptotics. However, fitting hierarchical spatial models often involves expensive matrix decompositions whose computational complexity increases in cubic order with the number of spatial locations, rendering such models infeasible for large spatial data sets. This computational burden is exacerbated in multivariate settings with several spatially dependent response variables. It is also aggravated when data are collected at frequent time points and spatiotemporal process models are used. With regard to this challenge, our contribution is to work with what we call predictive process models for spatial and spatiotemporal data. Every spatial (or spatiotemporal) process induces a predictive process model (in fact, arbitrarily many of them). The latter models project process realizations of the former to a lower dimensional subspace, thereby reducing the computational burden. Hence, we achieve the flexibility to accommodate non-stationary, non-Gaussian, possibly multivariate, possibly spatiotemporal processes in the context of large data sets. We discuss attractive theoretical properties of these predictive processes. We also provide a computational template encompassing these diverse settings. Finally, we illustrate the approach with simulated and real data sets.more » « less
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Publisher / Repository:
- Oxford University Press
- Date Published:
- Journal Name:
- Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series B: Statistical Methodology
- Medium: X Size: p. 825-848
- ["p. 825-848"]
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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