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Determining the effect of asymmetric data on the variogram. II. Outliers

Kerry, R. and Oliver, M. A. (2007) Determining the effect of asymmetric data on the variogram. II. Outliers. Computers and Geosciences, 33 (10). pp. 1233-1260.

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.cageo.2007.05.009


Asymmetry in a distribution can arise from a long tail of values in the underlying process or from outliers that belong to another population that contaminate the primary process. The first paper of this series examined the effects of the former on the variogram and this paper examines the effects of asymmetry arising from outliers. Simulated annealing was used to create normally distributed random fields of different size that are realizations of known processes described by variograms with different nugget:sill ratios. These primary data sets were then contaminated with randomly located and spatially aggregated outliers from a secondary process to produce different degrees of asymmetry. Experimental variograms were computed from these data by Matheron's estimator and by three robust estimators. The effects of standard data transformations on the coefficient of skewness and on the variogram were also investigated. Cross-validation was used to assess the performance of models fitted to experimental variograms computed from a range of data contaminated by outliers for kriging. The results showed that where skewness was caused by outliers the variograms retained their general shape, but showed an increase in the nugget and sill variances and nugget:sill ratios. This effect was only slightly more for the smallest data set than for the two larger data sets and there was little difference between the results for the latter. Overall, the effect of size of data set was small for all analyses. The nugget:sill ratio showed a consistent decrease after transformation to both square roots and logarithms; the decrease was generally larger for the latter, however. Aggregated outliers had different effects on the variogram shape from those that were randomly located, and this also depended on whether they were aggregated near to the edge or the centre of the field. The results of cross-validation showed that the robust estimators and the removal of outliers were the most effective ways of dealing with outliers for variogram estimation and kriging. (C) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science
ID Code:3704
Uncontrolled Keywords:geostatistics normality outliers simulation skewness variogram robust estimators data transformation
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