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Measuring the Spatial Accuracy of the Spatial Scan Statistic

Read, S., Bath, P.A., Willett, P. and Maheswaran, R. (2011) Measuring the Spatial Accuracy of the Spatial Scan Statistic. Spatial and Spatio-temporal Epidemiology, 2 (2). pp. 69-78. ISSN 1877-5845


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The spatial scan statistic is well established in spatial epidemiology. However, studies of its spatial accuracy are infrequent and vary in approach, often using multiple measures which complicate the objective ranking of different implementations of the statistic.

We address this with three novel contributions. Firstly, a modular framework into which different definitions of spatial accuracy can be compared and hybridised. Secondly, we derive a new single measure, Omega, which takes account of all true and detected clusters, without the need for arbitrary weightings and irrespective of any chosen significance threshold. Thirdly, we demonstrate the new measure, alongside existing ones, in a study of the six output filter options provided by SaTScan.

The study suggests filtering overlapping detected clusters tends to reduce spatial accuracy, and visualising overlapping clusters may be better than filtering them out.

Although we only address spatial accuracy, the framework (and Omega) may be extendible to spatio-temporal accuracy.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: This is an author produced version of a paper subsequently published in 'Spatial and Spatio-temporal Epidemiology'. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy.
Keywords: spatial accuracy, spatial scan statistic, benchmark testing, performance measures, Bernoulli, Omega
Institution: The University of Sheffield
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > Information School (Sheffield)
The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health (Sheffield) > School of Health and Related Research (Sheffield)
Funding Information:
FunderGrant number
Medical Research Council???
Depositing User: Dr Simon Read
Date Deposited: 19 Aug 2011 13:45
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2014 01:24
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.sste.2011.01.002
Status: Published
Publisher: Elsevier
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1016/j.sste.2011.01.002
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/43169

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