A nonparametric spatial scan statistic for continuous data
Inkyung Jung ; Ho Jin Cho
International Journal of Heath Geographics, Vol.14(null) : 30, 2015
International Journal of Heath Geographics
BACKGROUND: Spatial scan statistics are widely used for spatial cluster detection, and several parametric models exist. For continuous data, a normal-based scan statistic can be used. However, the performance of the model has not been fully evaluated for non-normal data.
METHODS: We propose a nonparametric spatial scan statistic based on the Wilcoxon rank-sum test statistic and compared the performance of the method with parametric models via a simulation study under various scenarios.
RESULTS: The nonparametric method outperforms the normal-based scan statistic in terms of power and accuracy in almost all cases under consideration in the simulation study.
CONCLUSION: The proposed nonparametric spatial scan statistic is therefore an excellent alternative to the normal model for continuous data and is especially useful for data following skewed or heavy-tailed distributions.