# Spatial Point Processes and their Applications

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1 Spatial Point Processes and their Applications Adrian Baddeley School of Mathematics & Statistics, University of Western Australia Nedlands WA 6009, Australia A spatial point process is a random pattern of points in d-dimensional space (where usually d = 2 or d = 3 in applications). Spatial point processes are useful as statistical models in the analysis of observed patterns of points, where the points represent the locations of some object of study (e..g. trees in a forest, bird nests, disease cases, or petty crimes). Point processes play a special role in stochastic geometry, as the building blocks of more complicated random set models (such as the Boolean model), and as instructive simple examples of random sets. These lectures introduce basic concepts of spatial point processes, with a view toward applications, and with a minimum of technical detail. They cover methods for constructing, manipulating and analysing spatial point processes, and for analysing spatial point pattern data. Each lecture ends with a set of practical computer exercises, which the reader can carry out by downloading a free software package. Lecture 1 ( Point Processes ) gives some motivation, defines point processes, explains how to construct point processes, and gives some important examples. Lecture 2 ( Moments ) discusses means and higher moments for point processes, especially the intensity measure and the second moment measure, along with derived quantities such as the K-function and the pair correlation function. It covers the important Campbell formula for expectations. Lecture 3 ( Conditioning ) explains how to condition on the event that the point process has a point at a specified location. This leads to the concept of the Palm distribution, and the related Campbell-Mecke formula. A dual concept is the conditional intensity, which provides many new results. Lecture 4 ( Modelling and Statistical Inference ) covers the formulation of statistical models for point patterns, model-fitting methods, and statistical inference.

2 2 Adrian Baddeley 1 Point Processes In this first lecture, we motivate and define point processes, construct examples (especially the Poisson process [28]), and analyse important properties of the Poisson process. There are different ways to mathematically construct and characterise a point process (using finite-dimensional distributions, vacancy probabilities, capacity functional, or generating function). An easier way to construct a point process is by transforming an existing point process (by thinning, superposition, or clustering) [43]. Finally we show how to use existing software to generate simulated realisations of many spatial point processes using these techniques, and analyse them using vacancy probabilities (or empty space functions ). 1.1 Point Processes in 1D and 2D A point process in one dimension ( time ) is a useful model for the sequence of random times when a particular event occurs. For example, the random times when a hospital receives emergency calls may be modelled as a point process. Each emergency call happens at an instant, or point, of time. There will be a random number of such calls in any period of time, and they will occur at random instants of time. Fig. 1. A point process in time. A spatial point process is a useful model for a random pattern of points in d-dimensional space, where d 2. For example, if we make a map of the locations of all the people who called the emergency service during a particular day, this map constitutes a random pattern of points in two dimensions. There will be a random number of such points, and their locations are also random. Fig. 2. A point process in two dimensions.

3 Spatial Point Processes and their Applications 3 We may also record both the locations and the times of the emergency calls. This may be regarded as a point process in three dimensions (space time), or alternatively, as a point process in two dimensions where each point (caller location) is labelled or marked by a number (the time of the call). Spatial point processes can be used directly, to model and analyse data which take the form of a point pattern, such as maps of the locations of trees or bird nests ( statistical ecology [16, 29]); the positions of stars and galaxies ( astrostatistics [1]); the locations of point-like defects in a silicon crystal wafer (materials science [34]); the locations of neurons in brain tissue; or the home addresses of individuals diagnosed with a rare disease ( spatial epidemiology [19]). Spatial point processes also serve as a basic model in random set theory [42] and image analysis [41]. For general surveys of applications of spatial point processes, see [16, 42, 43]. For general theory see [15]. 1.2 Formulation of Point Processes There are some differences between the theory of one-dimensional and higherdimensional point processes, because one-dimensional time has a natural ordering which is absent in higher dimensions. A one-dimensional point process can be handled mathematically in many different ways. We may study the arrival times T 1 <T 2 <... where T i is the time at which the ith point (emergency call) arrives. Using these random variables is the most direct way to handle the point pattern, but their use is complicated by the fact that they are strongly dependent, since T i <T i+1. T 1 T 2 T 3 T 4 Fig. 3. Arrival times T i. Alternatively we may study the inter-arrival times S i = T i+1 T i. These have the advantage that, for some special models (Poisson and renewal processes), the random variables S 1,S 2,... are independent. S 1 S 2 S 3 S 4 Fig. 4. Inter-arrival times S i. Alternatively it is common (especially in connection with martingale theory) to formulate a point process in terms of the cumulative counting process

4 4 Adrian Baddeley N t = number of points arriving up to time t = 1{T i t}, i=1 for all t 0, where 1{...} denotes the indicator function, equal to 1 if the statement... is true, and equal to 0 otherwise. This device has the advantage of converting the process to a random function of continuous time t, but has the disadvantage that the values N t for different t are highly dependent. N(t) Fig. 5. The counting process N t associated with a point process. t Alternatively one may use the interval counts N(a, b] =N b N a for 0 a b which count the number of points arriving in the interval (a, b]. For some special processes (Poisson and independent-increments processes) the interval counts for disjoint intervals are stochastically independent. a N(a,b] = 2 b Fig. 6. Interval count N(a, b] for a point process. In higher dimensions, there is no natural ordering of the points, so that there is no natural analogue of the inter-arrival times S i nor of the counting process N t. Instead, the most useful way to handle a spatial point process is to generalise the interval counts N(a, b] to the region counts

5 Spatial Point Processes and their Applications 5 N(B) = number of points falling in B defined for each bounded closed set B R d. B N(B) = 3 Fig. 7. Counting variables N(B) for a spatial point process. Rather surprisingly, it is often sufficient to study a point process using only the vacancy indicators V (B) =1{N(B) =0} = 1{there are no points falling in B}. B V(B) = 1 Fig. 8. Vacancy indicators V (B) for a spatial point process. The counting variables N(B) are natural for exploring additive properties of a point process. For example, suppose we have two point processes, of red and blue points respectively, and we superimpose them (forming a single point process by discarding the colours). If N red (B) and N blue (B) are the counting variables for red and blue points respectively, then the counting variable for the superimposed process is N(B) =N red (B)+N blue (B). The vacancy indicators V (B) are natural for exploring geometric and multiplicative properties of a point process. If V red (B) and V blue (B) are the vacancy indicators for two point processes, then the vacancy indicator for the superimposed process is V (B) =V red (B) V blue (B).

6 6 Adrian Baddeley 1.3 Example: Binomial Process To take a very simple example, let us place a fixed number n of points at random locations inside a bounded region W R 2. Let X 1,...,X n be i.i.d. (independent and identically distributed) random points which are uniformly distributed in W. Hence the probability density of each X i is { 1/λ2 (W ) if x W f(x) = 0 otherwise where λ 2 (W ) denotes the area of W. A realisation of this process is shown in Figure 9. Fig. 9. Realisation of a binomial point process with n = 100 in the unit square. Since each random point X i is uniformly distributed in W, we have for any bounded set B in R 2 P(X i B) = f(x) dx B = λ 2(B W ). λ 2 (W ) The variables N(B) and V (B) may be represented explicitly as N(B) = V (B) = n 1{X i B} i=1 n min i=1 1{X i B}

7 Spatial Point Processes and their Applications 7 It follows easily that N(B) has a binomial distribution with parameters n and p = λ 2 (B W )/λ 2 (W ), hence the process is often called the binomial process. Note that the counting variables N(B) for different subsets B are not independent. If B 1 and B 2 are disjoint, then N(B 1 )+N(B 2 )=N(B 1 B 2 ) n so that N(B 1 ) and N(B 2 ) must be dependent. In fact, the joint distribution of (N(B 1 ),N(B 2 )) is the multinomial distribution on n trials with success probabilities (p 1,p 2 ) where p i = λ 2 (B i W )/λ 2 (W ). 1.4 Foundations Foundations of the theory of point processes in R d are expounded in detail in [15]. The following is a very brief and informal introduction. Random Measure Formalism The values of the counting variables N(B) for all subsets B give us sufficient information to reconstruct completely the positions of all the points in the process. Indeed the points of the process are those locations x such that N({x}) > 0. Hence we may as well define a point process as a collection of random variables N(B) indexed by subsets B. The counting variables N(B) for different sets B satisfy certain relationships, including additivity N(A B) =N(A)+N(B) whenever A and B are disjoint sets (A B = ) and of course N( ) =0 where denotes the empty set. Furthermore, they are continuous in the sense that, if A n is a decreasing sequence of closed, bounded sets (A n A n+1 ) with limit n A n = A, then we must have N(A n ) N(A). These properties must hold for each realisation of the point process, or at least, with probability 1. They amount to the requirement that N is a measure (or at least, that with probability 1, the values N(B) can be extended to a measure). This is the concept of a random measure [26, 42]. Formally, then, a point process may be defined as a random measure in which the values N(B) are nonnegative integers [15, 42]. We usually also assume that the point process is locally finite: N(B) < with probability 1

8 8 Adrian Baddeley for all bounded B R d. That is, any bounded region contains only a finite number of points, with probability 1. We also assume that the point process is simple: N({x}) 1 for all x R d with probability 1. That is, with probability 1, no two points of the process are coincident. A simple point process can be regarded as a random set of points. For example, the binomial process introduced in Section 1.3 is locally finite (since N(B) n for all B) and it is simple because there is zero probability that two independent, uniformly distributed random points coincide: P(X 1 = X 2 )=E [P (X 1 = X 2 X 2 )] = 0. Hence the binomial process is a point process in the sense of this definition. Random Set Formalism A simple point process can be formulated in a completely different way since it may be regarded as a random set X. Interestingly, the vacancy indicators V (B) contain complete information about the process. If we know the value of V (B) for all sets B, then we can determine the exact location of each point x in the (simple) point process X. To do this, let G be the union of all open sets B such that V (B) = 1. The complement of G is a locally finite set of points, and this identifies the random set X. The vacancy indicators must satisfy V (A B) = min{v (A),V(B)} for any sets A, B, and have other properties analogous to those of the count variables N(B). Thus we could alternatively define a simple point process as a random function V satisfying these properties almost surely. This approach is intimately related to the theory of random closed sets [27, 31, 32]. In the rest of these lectures, we shall often swap between the notation X (for a point process when it is considered as a random set) and N or N X (for the counting variables associated with the same point process). 1.5 Poisson Processes One-dimensional Poisson Process Readers may be familiar with the concept of a Poisson point process in onedimensional time (e.g. [28, 37]). Suppose we make the following assumptions: 1. The number of points which arrive in a given time interval has expected value proportional to the duration of the interval: EN(a, b] =β(b a) where β> 0 is the rate or intensity of the process;

9 Spatial Point Processes and their Applications 9 2. Arrivals in disjoint intervals of time are independent: if a 1 <b 1 <a 2 < b 2 <... < a m <b m then the random variables N(a 1,b 1 ],...,N(a m,b m ] are independent; 3. The probability of two or more arrivals in a given time interval is asymptotically of uniformly smaller order than the length of the interval: P(N(a, a + h] 2) = o(h), h 0. For example these would be reasonable assumptions to make about the arrival of cosmic particles at a particle detector, or the occurrence of accidents in a large city. From these assumptions it follows that the number of points arriving in a given time interval must have a Poisson distribution: N(a, b] Poisson(β(b a)) where Poisson(µ) denotes the Poisson distribution with mean µ, defined by P(N = k) =e µ µk, k =0, 1, 2,... (1) k! This conclusion follows by splitting the interval (a, b] into a large number n of small intervals. The number of arrivals in each small interval is equal to 0 or 1, except for an event of small probability. Since N(a, b] is the sum of these numbers, it has an approximately binomial distribution. Letting n we obtain that N(a, b] must have a Poisson distribution. Definition 1.1. The one-dimensional Poisson process, with uniform intensity β> 0, is a point process in R such that [PP1] for every bounded interval (a, b], the count N(a, b] has a Poisson distribution with mean β(b a); [PP2] if (a 1,b 1 ],...,(a m,b m ] are disjoint bounded intervals, then the counts N(a 1,b 1 ],...,N(a m,b m ] are independent random variables. Other properties of the one-dimensional Poisson process include 1. The inter-arrival times S i have an exponential distribution with rate β: P(S i s) =1 e βs, s > The inter-arrival times S i are independent. 3. The ith arrival time T i has an Erlang or Gamma distribution with parameters α = i and β. The Gamma(α, β) probability density is for t>0, and 0 otherwise. f(t) = βα Γ (α) tα 1 e βt

10 10 Adrian Baddeley Fig. 10. Realisation of the one-dimensional Poisson process with uniform intensity 1 in the time interval [0, 30]. Tick marks indicate the arrival times. Properties 1 and 2 above suggest an easy way to generate simulated realisations of the Poisson process on [0, ). We simply generate a sequence of independent, exponentially distributed, random variables S 1,S 2,... and take the arrival times to be T i = 1 j i S j. We may also study inhomogeneous Poisson processes in which the number of arrivals in (a, b] is E N(a, b] = b a β(t) dt where β(t) > 0 is a function called the (instantaneous) intensity function. The probability that there will be a point of this process in an infinitesimal interval [t, t+ dt] is β(t) dt. Arrivals in disjoint time intervals are independent. Spatial Poisson Process The Poisson process can be generalised to two-dimensional space. Definition 1.2. The spatial Poisson process, with uniform intensity β> 0, is a point process in R 2 such that [PP1] for every bounded closed set B, the count N(B) has a Poisson distribution with mean βλ 2 (B); [PP2] if B 1,...,B m are disjoint regions, then N(B 1 ),...,N(B m ) are independent. Here λ 2 (B) again denotes the area of B. It turns out that these two properties uniquely characterise the Poisson process. The constant β is the expected number of points per unit area. It has dimensions length 2 or points per unit area. As in the one-dimensional case, the spatial Poisson process can be derived by starting from a few reasonable assumptions: that EN(B) =βλ 2 (B); that P(N(B) > 1) = o(λ 2 (B)) for small λ 2 (B); and that events in disjoint regions are independent. An important fact about the Poisson process is the following. Lemma 1.1 (Conditional Property). Consider a Poisson point process in R 2 with uniform intensity β> 0. Let W R 2 be any region with 0 <λ 2 (W ) <. Given that N(W )=n, the conditional distribution of N(B) for B W is binomial:

11 Spatial Point Processes and their Applications 11 Fig. 11. Three different realisations of the Poisson process with uniform intensity 5 in the unit square. P (N(B) =k N(W )=n) = ( ) n p k (1 p) n k k where p = λ 2 (B)/λ 2 (W ). Furthermore the conditional joint distribution of N(B 1 ),...,N(B m ) for any B 1,...,B m W is the same as the joint distribution of these variables in a binomial process. In other words, given that there are n points of the Poisson process in W, these n points are conditionally independent and uniformly distributed in W. Proof. Let 0 k n. Then P (N(B) =k N(W )=n) = = P(N(B) =k, N(W )=n) P(N(W )=n) P(N(B) =k, N(W \ B) =n k). P(N(W )=n) By the independence property (PP2) the numerator can be rewritten P(N(B) =k, N(W \ B) =n k) =P(N(B) =k) P(N(W \ B) =n k) We may then evaluate the numerator and denominator using (PP1) to give k P (N(B) =k N(W )=n) = e βλ2(b) (βλ 2(B)) k! e βλ2(w \B) (βλ 2(W \B)) n k (n k)! n! = k!(n k)! ( n = k e βλ2(w ) (βλ2(w ))n n! ( λ2 (B) λ 2 (W ) ) p k (1 p) n k ) k ( λ2 (W \ B) λ 2 (W ) ) n k where p = λ 2 (B)/λ 2 (W ). Thus, for example, Figure 9 can also be taken as a realisation of a Poisson process in the unit square W, in which it happens that there are exactly 100 points in W. The only distinction between a binomial process and a Poisson

12 12 Adrian Baddeley process in W is that different realisations of the Poisson process will consist of different numbers of points. The conditional property also gives us a direct way to simulate Poisson processes. To generate a realisation of a Poisson process of intensity β in W, we first generate a random variable M with a Poisson distribution with mean βλ 2 (W ). Given M = m, we then generate m independent uniform random points in W. General Poisson Process To define a uniform Poisson point process in R d, or an inhomogeneous Poisson process in R d, or a Poisson point process on some other space S, the following general definition can be used. Definition 1.3. Let S be a space, and Λ a measure on S. (We require S to be a locally compact metric space, and Λ a measure which is finite on every compact set and which has no atoms.) The Poisson process on S with intensity measure Λ is a point process on S such that [PP1] for every compact set B S, the count N(B) has a Poisson distribution with mean Λ(B); [PP2] if B 1,...,B m are disjoint compact sets, then N(B 1 ),...,N(B m ) are independent. Example 1.1 (Poisson process in three dimensions). The uniform Poisson process on R 3 with intensity β > 0 is defined by taking S = R 3 and Λ(B) =βλ 3 (B). Example 1.2 (Inhomogeneous Poisson process). The inhomogeneous Poisson process on R 2 with intensity function β(u), u R 2 is defined by taking S = R 2 and Λ(B) = β(u) du. See Figure 12. B Example 1.3 (Poisson process on the sphere). Take S to be the unit sphere (surface of the unit ball in three dimensions) and Λ = βµ, where β> 0 and µ is the uniform area measure on S with total mass 4π. This yields the uniform Poisson point process on the unit sphere, with intensity β. This process has a finite number of points, almost surely. Indeed the total number of points N(S) is a Poisson random variable with mean Λ(S) = βµ(s) = 4πβ. See Figure Distributional Characterisation In Section 1.5 we discussed the fact that a Poisson process in a bounded region W, conditioned on the total number of points in W, is equivalent to a binomial process. This was expressed somewhat vaguely, because we do not yet have the tools needed to determine whether two point processes are equivalent in distribution. We now develop such tools.

13 Spatial Point Processes and their Applications 13 Fig. 12. Realisation of an inhomogeneous Poisson process in the unit square, with intensity function β(x, y) = exp(2 + 5x). Fig. 13. Uniform Poisson point process on the surface of the Earth. Intensity is β = 100 points per solid radian; the expected total number of points is 4π 100 = Orthogonal projection from a position directly above Martina Franca. Space of Outcomes Like any random phenomenon, a point process can be described in statistical terms by defining the space of possible outcomes and then specifying the probabilities of different events (an event is a subset of all possible outcomes). The space of realisations of a point process in R d is N, the set of all counting measures on R d, where a counting measure is a nonnegative integer valued measure which has a finite value on every compact set. A basic event about the point process is the event that there are exactly k points in the region B,

14 14 Adrian Baddeley E B,k = {N(B) =k} = {N N : N(B) =k} for compact B R d and integer k =0, 1, 2,... Definition 1.4. Let N be the set of all counting measures on R d. Let N be the σ-field of subsets of N generated by all events of the form E B,k. The space N equipped with its σ-field N is called the canonical space or outcome space for a point process in R d. The σ-field N includes events such as E B1,k 1... E Bm,k m = {N N : N(B 1 )=k 1,...,N(B m )=k m }, i.e. the event that there are exactly k i points in region B i for i =1,...,m. It also includes, for example, the event that the point process has no points at all, {N 0} = {N N : N(B) = 0 for all B} since this event can be represented as the intersection of the countable sequence of events E b(0,n),0 for n =1, 2,... Here b(0,r) denotes the ball of radius r and centre 0 in R d. A point process X may now be defined formally, using its counting measure N = N X, as a measurable map N : Ω N from a probability space (Ω, A, P) to the outcome space (N, N ). Thus, each elementary outcome ω Ω determines an outcome N ω N for the entire point process. Measurability is the requirement that, for any event E N, the event {N E} = {ω Ω : N ω E} belongs to A. This implies that any such event has a well-defined probability P(N E). For example, the probability that the point process is empty, P(N 0), is well defined. The construction of N guarantees that, if N is a point process on a probability space (Ω, A, P), then the variables N(B) for each compact set B are random variables on the same probability space. In fact N is the minimal σ-field on N which guarantees this. Definition 1.5. The distribution of a point process X is the probability measure P X, on the outcome space (N, N ), defined by P X (A) =P(N X A), A N. For example, the distribution of a point process specifies the values of joint probabilities P(N(B) =k and N(B )=k ) for two sets B, B and integers k, k ; it also specifies the probability that the entire point process is empty, P(N 0) = P(X = ).

15 Spatial Point Processes and their Applications 15 Characterisations of a Point Process Distribution The distribution of a point process may be characterised using either the joint distributions of the variables N(B), or the marginal distributions of the variables V (B). First we consider the count variables N(B). Definition 1.6. The finite-dimensional distributions or fidis of a point process are the joint probability distributions of (N(B 1 ),...,N(B m )) for all finite integers m>0 and all compact B 1,B 2,... Equivalently, the fidis specify the probabilities of all events of the form {N(B 1 )=k 1,...,N(B m )=k m } involving finitely many regions. Clearly the fidis of a point process convey only a subset of the information conveyed in its distribution. Probabilities of events such as {X = } are not specified in the fidis, since they cannot be expressed in terms of a finite number of compact regions. However, it turns out that the fidis are sufficient to characterise the entire distribution. Theorem 1.1. Let X and Y be two point processes. If the fidis of X and of Y coincide, then X and Y have the same distribution. Corollary 1.1. If X is a point process satisfying axioms (PP1) and (PP2) then X is a Poisson process. A simple point process (Section 1.4) can be regarded as a random set of points. In this case the vacancy probabilities are useful. The capacity functional of a simple point process X is the functional T (K) =P(N(K) > 0), K compact. This is a very small subset of the information conveyed by the fidis, since T (K) =1 P(E K,0 ). However, surprisingly, it turns out that the capacity functional is sufficient to determine the entire distribution. Theorem 1.2. Suppose X and Y are two simple point processes whose capacity functionals are identical. Then their distributions are identical. Corollary 1.2. A simple point process is a uniform Poisson process of intensity β if and only if its capacity functional is for all compact K R d. T (K) =1 exp{ βλ d (K)}

16 16 Adrian Baddeley Corollary 1.3. A simple point process is a binomial process (of n points in W ) if and only if its capacity functional is ( T (K) =1 1 λ ) n d(k W ) λ d (W ) for all compact K R d. This characterisation of the binomial process now makes it easy to prove the conditional property of the Poisson process described in the last section. Note that the results above do not provide a simple way to construct a point process ab initio. Theorem 1.1 does not say that any given choice of finite dimensional distributions will automatically determine a point process distribution. On the contrary, the fidis must satisfy a suite of conditions (selfconsistency, continuity) if they are to correspond to a point process. Hence, the fidis are not a very practical route to the construction of point processes. More practical methods of construction are described in Section 1.7. The concept of a stationary point process plays an important role. Definition 1.7. A point process X in R d is called stationary if, for any fixed vector v R d, the distribution of the shifted point process X + v (obtained by shifting each point x X to x + v) is identical to the distribution of X. Lemma 1.2. A point process is stationary if and only if its capacity functional is invariant under translations, T (K) =T (K +v) for all compact sets K R d and all v R d. For example, the uniform Poisson process is stationary, since its capacity functional T (K) is clearly invariant under translation. Similarly, a point process is called isotropic if its distribution is invariant under all rotations of R d. The uniform Poisson process is isotropic. 1.7 Transforming a Point Process One pragmatic way to construct a new point process is by transforming or changing an existing point process. Convenient transformations include mapping, thinning, superposition, and clustering. Mapping Figure 14 sketches in one dimension the concept of mapping a point process X to another point process by applying a fixed transformation s : R d R d to each individual point of X. The resulting point process is thus Y = x X s(x). For example, the mapping s(x) = ax where a > 0 would rescale the entire point process by the constant scale factor a.

17 Spatial Point Processes and their Applications 17 s(t) t Fig. 14. Application of a transformation s to each individual point in a point process A vector translation s(x) =x + v, where v R d is fixed, shifts all points of X by the same vector v. If the original process X is a uniform Poisson process, then the translated point process Y is also a uniform Poisson process with the same intensity, as we saw above. Any mapping s which has a continuous inverse, or at least which satisfies 0 <λ d (s 1 (B)) < whenever B is compact (2) transforms a uniform Poisson process into another Poisson process, generally an inhomogeneous one. An important caution is that, if the transformation s does not satisfy (2), then in general we cannot even be sure that the transformed point process Y is well defined, since the points of Y may not be locally finite. For example, consider the projection of the cartesian plane onto the x-axis, s(x, y) = x. If X is a uniform Poisson process in R 2 then the projection onto the x-axis is everywhere dense: there are infinitely many projected points in any open interval (a, b) in the x-axis, almost surely, since s 1 ((a, b)) = (a, b) R. Hence, the projection of X onto the x-axis is not a well-defined point process. Thinning Figure 15 sketches the operation of thinning a point process X, by which some of the points of X are deleted. The remaining, undeleted points form the thinned point process Y. We may formalise the thinning procedure by supposing that each point x X is labelled with an indicator random variable I x taking the value 1 if the point x is to be retained, and 0 if it is to be deleted. Then the thinned process consists of those points x X with I x = 1. Independent thinning is the case where the indicators I x are independent. If a uniform Poisson process is subjected to independent thinning, the resulting thinned process is also Poisson.

18 18 Adrian Baddeley Fig. 15. Thinning a point process. Points of the original process (above) are either retained (solid lines) or deleted (dotted lines) to yield a thinned process (below). Fig. 16. Dependent thinning: simulated realisations of Matern s Model I (left) and Model II (right). Both are derived from a Poisson process of intensity 200 in the unit square, and have the same inhibition radius r = Examples of dependent thinning are the two models of Matérn [30] for spatial inhibition between points. In Model I, we start with a uniform Poisson process X in R 2, and delete any point which has a close neighbour (closer than a distance r, say). Thus I x = 1 if x x r for any x X. In Model II, we start with a uniform Poisson process X in R 2 [0, 1], interpreting this as a process of two-dimensional points x R 2 with arrival times t [0, 1]. Then we delete any point which has a close neighbour whose arrival time was earlier than the point in question. Thus I (x,t) = 1 if x x r and t>t for any (x,t ) X. The arrival times are then discarded to give us a point process in R 2. Simulated realisations of these two models are shown in Figure 16. Superposition Figure 17 sketches the superposition of two point processes X and Y which consists of all points in the union X Y. If we denote by N X (B) and N Y (B) the numbers of points of X and Y respectively in a region B R d, then the superposition has N X Y (B) =N X (B) +N Y (B) assuming there are no coincident points. Superposition can thus be viewed either as the union of sets or as the sum of measures. If X and Y are independent, with capacity functionals T X,T Y, then the superposition has capacity functional T X Y (K) =1 (1 T X (K))(1 T Y (K)).

19 Z 1 Z 2 Spatial Point Processes and their Applications 19 X Y X+Y Fig. 17. Superposition of two point processes The superposition of two independent Poisson processes X and Y, say uniform Poisson processes of intensity µ and ν respectively, is a uniform Poisson process of intensity µ + ν. Cluster Formation X Z 3 Z 4 Fig. 18. Schematic concept of the formation of a cluster process. Y Finally, in a cluster process, we start with a point process X and replace each point x X by a random finite set of points Z x called the cluster associated with x. The superposition of all clusters yields the process Y = x X Z x. See Figure 18. Usually it is assumed that the clusters Z x for different parent points x are independent processes. A simple example is the Matérn cluster process in which the parent process X is a uniform Poisson process in R 2, and each cluster Z x consists of a random number M x of points, where M x Poisson(µ), independently and uniformly distributed in the disc b(x, r) of radius r centred on x. Simulated realisations of this process are shown in Figure Marked Point Processes Earlier we mentioned the idea that the points of a point process might be labelled with extra information called marks. For example, in a map of the locations of emergency calls, each point might carry a label stating the time of the call and the nature of the emergency. A marked point can be formalised as a pair (x, m) where x is the point location and m is the mark attached to it.

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