LKGeometry: Tailoring the LatticeKrig model to a specific geometry.

Description A quick start Use of the LKInfo object Required methods Optional Methods Author(s) See Also


To implement a spatial model for specific geometry, e.g. a rectangular spatial domain, one needs to specify a few functions that set reasonable default choices, create the lattice, define the Markov random field and define the basis functions. One coudl also include some specific functions that are particularly efficient for some of the computations for that geometry. This help section gives an overview of what is needed to introduce a new geometry.

A quick start

At the outset if you are an example person (and an impatient one) take a look at the functions created for the 1-d LatticeKrig model (LKInterval). (In the source for the package this is the file ModelLKInterval.R in the R subdirectory.) The specfic functions are:


Creates a 1-d lattice.


Creates a sparse 1-d spatial autoregressive matrix.


Returns the spatial locations of the lattice points.

Nothing else is needed to coax the LatticeKrig computation to fit a 1-d spatial model. There are more details and flexibility in specifying the model, but the ones listed above are generic in that they make sense for any LatticeKrig model and are not specific to the 1-d case. The .LKInterval tag on each of these functions indicates that these are S3 versions of a "method". The actual source code in LatticeKrig just relies on calling the generic method, e.g. LKrigSetupLattice, and the geometry, added as a class indicates, which function is actually used. Checking what each of these functions does and then seeing how they are called in LKrigSetup and LKrig.basis will give a simple introduction to how the code is structured.

Use of the LKInfo object

The basic idea behind this package is to consolidate all the details of the spatial model including the geometry in the LKinfo object. The way to create this object is by the function SetupLKinfo and we believe that this function has enough flexibility to avoid modifying this object outside of this function call. Typically for deliberate spatial modeling the first step will be creating the LKinfo object; however, the quick and more "black box" function LatticeKrig is designed to take a minimal amount of information and then calls SetupLKinfo internally to fill out the LKinfo object. In fact, LatticeKrig( x,y) with just x as locations and y as observations will fit a spatial model using reasonable defaults and the returned object from this fit will include the full LKinfo object that it used.

A subtle and perhaps a potential disadvantage with the coding is that the LKinfo object is built in steps within the LKrigSetup function. In particular the method that setups the lattice is called before information is added about the alpha and a.wght parameters. The source code LKrigSetup has been kept concise and it should be clear how the LKinfo is formed. Conceptually, the sequence of steps are:

The calling arguments

Initialize the LKinfo object with the all the passed arguments.

Call: setDefaultsLKinfo

If necessary add some components that fill in specific default parameters for a given method.

Create basis information

The component LKinfo\$basisInfo holds the specific components for the basis functions. Currently there is not much flexibility here are as it is just derived from the calling arguments.

Call: LKrigSetupLattice

Setup the lattice information and put in the component LKinfo\$latticeInfo

Call: LKrigSetupAlpha

Setup the format for the alpha parameters based on what was passed in and out this in the component LKinfo\$alpha

Call: LKrigSetupAwght

Setup the format for the alpha parameters based on what was passed in and out this in the component LKinfo\$a.wght

Check using: LKinfoCheck

Check for the required components in the object.

The LKinfo object is a list with class LKinfo and comes with a print method to make it easier to read and also has the class of the geometry, e.g LKInterval for the 1-d model. The functions that are required for a geometry all take the LKinfo object as their first argument and the S3 object dispatching then calls the correct version. Put more simply, if LKinfoExample has class LKInterval then the code LKrigLatticeCenters(LKinfoExample, Level= 1) will result in computing the lattice centers at the first level and using the 1-d geometry. In this way much of this package can use "generic" functions for the computational steps without revealing the extra complications and exceptions for particular models and geometries. The structure of the LKinfo object is not completely rigid. Certain components of the list are required and these are checked by LKinfoCheck. Other components of this list can be geometry and problem dependent and this is a useful way to pass information to the computations. In general when faced with what should be included in LKinfo follow the style in LKInterval but also include additional components that are needed to define the model. Some examples are mentioned below.

Required methods

For any model there are three functions required for a new geometry. By a new geometry we mean any variation from the regular grids and beyond a second order SAR. As a first step choose a name for the new geometry, e.g. MyNewIdea, and this should also be the name passed as the argument LKGeometry in the LKrigSetup function. Three new functions need to be supplied and that end in .MyNewIdea and the user will recognize these as S3 methods being added to LatticeKrig.

The specific functions you will have to add to LatticeKrig package are:

LKrigSetupLattice.MyNewIdea(LKinfo) This function will take the information in the LKinfo list and create any indexing and do other computations to create the specific lattice of spatial points. The return value is a list with several basic components that are required. For example m is the total number of basis functions in the model. See help( LKrigSetupLattice) for a description of these required arguments. In addition one can add other arguments that help in coding the following two functions. It possible that this function could be avoided by doing all the setup whenever the SAR and the centers functions are used but we suspect this would result in more complicated code and be less modular. The 1-d implementation in the source file ModelInterval.R is a good example to get an idea of the whole process.

LKrigSAR.MyNewIdea(LKinfo, Level) Returns a sparse spatial autoregressive matrix at a specific level of the multiresolution and in spind sparse matrix format. See help( LKrigSAR). Note that the lattice information from the previous function is in the component latticeInfo and so this function needs to access any lattice information in this way from the LKinfo object. e.g. LKinfo\$latticeInfo\$m are the total number of basis functions.

LKrigLatticeCenters.MyNewIdea(LKinfo, Level) Returns the spatial locations of the lattice points at a specific level of the multiresolution. This can either be as a matrix with columns indexing dimension and rows indexing points or another class of object. These locations (or object) are subsequently passed to the second argument of the distance function LKrigDistance to create the basis functions.

For initially creating a new geometry one can just rely on this function returning the lattice locations. Once the whole geometry works one can consider returning a more specialized object and pairing these with more efficient distance finding algorithms. For example if the lattice points are on a regular, equally spaced grid the nearest neighbor locations can be found quickly just by simple arithmetic and this is much faster than a search. This is implemented for the LKInterval, LKBox, and LKRectangle geometries by creating the class gridList for the grid of lattice centers and passing this object directly into the second argument of the distance function LKrigDistance. See also help(LKrigLatticeCenters) and help(LKrigDistance)

Optional Methods

To make the modeling more flexible and take advantage of faster computation some additional methods can be added but are not required. Any new version should add your geometry name to the end. e.g. setDefaultsLKinfo should have the new name: setDefaultsLKinfo.MyNewIdea and have the default arguments listed in the generic function (setDefaultsLKinfo).

setDefaultsLKinfo This function takes the skeleton LKinfo list based on the arguments passed to LKrigSetup and can modify and add to them. The returned value is now taken as the initial LKinfo object. The default method is that no changes are made. But adding versions to this method can be very useful for specific cases (e.g. see setDefaultsLKinfo) without complicating the main function with lots of conditional statements.

LKrigSetupAlpha These methods convert the alpha information passed into LKrigSetup to a list format. A default is provided if you do not supply a specific version. See help(LKrigSetupAlpha).

LKrigSetupAwght These methods convert the a.wght information passed into LKrigSetup to a list format.

LKrigNormalizeBasisFast This is a method to implement any fast methods for normalizing the basis functions. There is no default method because it is assumed this is geometry dependent. See LKrigNormalizeBasisFast.LKRectangle as an example of how this is done. Note that there is already a "slow" method, LKrigNormalizeBasis involving a Cholesky solve of the precision matrix for each point where the basis function is evaluated.

LKinfoCheck This function checks the LKinfo object for necessary components and does some rudimentary comparisons to make sure arrays are the right size. It is always good to add more checks!


Doug Nychka

See Also

LKrigSetup, LKrigSAR, LKrigLatticeCenters

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