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GRASP Special Seminar: Renato Assunção, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, “Bayesian spatial partitioning by sampling and pruning spanning trees”

February 13, 2018 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm


A typical problem in spatial data analysis is regionalization or spatiallyconstrained clustering, which consists of aggregating small geographical areas into larger regions. A major challenge when partitioning a map is the huge number of possible partitions that compose the search space. This is compounded if we are partitioning spatial-temporal data rather than purely spatial data. We introduce a spatial-temporal product partition model that deals with the regionalization problem in a probabilistic way. Random spanning trees are used as a tool to tackle the problem of searching the space of possible partitions making feasible this exploration. Based on this framework, we propose an effient Gibbs sampler algorithm to sample from the posterior distribution of the parameters, specially the random partition. The proposed Gibbs sampler scheme carries out a random walk on the space of the spanning trees and the partitions induced by deleting tree edges. We compare our proposed model with other regionalization techniques available on the literature to partition maps using simulated and real cancer mortality data. The analysis shows that our proposed model is better than state-of-art alternatives. Another appealing  feature of the method is that the prior distribution for the partition is interpretable with a trivial coin flipping mechanism allowing its easy elicitation.


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Renato Assuncao is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG) located in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
His research is focused on the development of algorithms and methods of spatial statistical data, data that has geographical coordinates. Most of his work is connected to problems from epidemiology, actuarial risk, and demographic analysis.


February 13, 2018
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
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