, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 323-340
Date: 27 Jun 2007

Bayesian entropy for spatial sampling design of environmental data

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We develop a spatial statistical methodology to design national air pollution monitoring networks with good predictive capabilities while minimizing the cost of monitoring. The underlying complexity of atmospheric processes and the urgent need to give credible assessments of environmental risk create problems requiring new statistical methodologies to meet these challenges. In this work, we present a new method of ranking various subnetworks taking both the environmental cost and the statistical information into account. A Bayesian algorithm is introduced to obtain an optimal subnetwork using an entropy framework. The final network and accuracy of the spatial predictions is heavily dependent on the underlying model of spatial correlation. Usually the simplifying assumption of stationarity, in the sense that the spatial dependency structure does not change location, is made for spatial prediction. However, it is not uncommon to find spatial data that show strong signs of nonstationary behavior. We build upon an existing approach that creates a nonstationary covariance by a mixture of a family of stationary processes, and we propose a Bayesian method of estimating the associated parameters using the technique of Reversible Jump Markov Chain Monte Carlo. We apply these methods for spatial prediction and network design to ambient ozone data from a monitoring network in the eastern US.