• A Bayesian changepoint analysis on spatio-temporal point processes
  • Altieri, Linda <1986>


  • SECS-S/01 Statistica


  • Changepoint analysis is a well established area of statistical research, but in the context of spatio-temporal point processes it is as yet relatively unexplored. Some substantial differences with regard to standard changepoint analysis have to be taken into account: firstly, at every time point the datum is an irregular pattern of points; secondly, in real situations issues of spatial dependence between points and temporal dependence within time segments raise. Our motivating example consists of data concerning the monitoring and recovery of radioactive particles from Sandside beach, North of Scotland; there have been two major changes in the equipment used to detect the particles, representing known potential changepoints in the number of retrieved particles. In addition, offshore particle retrieval campaigns are believed may reduce the particle intensity onshore with an unknown temporal lag; in this latter case, the problem concerns multiple unknown changepoints. We therefore propose a Bayesian approach for detecting multiple changepoints in the intensity function of a spatio-temporal point process, allowing for spatial and temporal dependence within segments. We use Log-Gaussian Cox Processes, a very flexible class of models suitable for environmental applications that can be implemented using integrated nested Laplace approximation (INLA), a computationally efficient alternative to Monte Carlo Markov Chain methods for approximating the posterior distribution of the parameters. Once the posterior curve is obtained, we propose a few methods for detecting significant change points. We present a simulation study, which consists in generating spatio-temporal point pattern series under several scenarios; the performance of the methods is assessed in terms of type I and II errors, detected changepoint locations and accuracy of the segment intensity estimates. We finally apply the above methods to the motivating dataset and find good and sensible results about the presence and quality of changes in the process.


  • 2015-02-02


  • Doctoral Thesis
  • PeerReviewed


  • application/pdf



Altieri, Linda (2015) A Bayesian changepoint analysis on spatio-temporal point processes, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Metodologia statistica per la ricerca scientifica , 27 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/6740.