Canadian Journal of Statistics

A new family of random graphs for testing spatial segregation

Journal Article


The authors discuss a graph‐based approach for testing spatial point patterns. This approach falls under the category of data‐random graphs, which have been introduced and used for statistical pattern recognition in recent years. The authors address specifically the problem of testing complete spatial randomness against spatial patterns of segregation or association between two or more classes of points on the plane. To this end, they use a particular type of parameterized random digraph called a proximity catch digraph (PCD) which is based on relative positions of the data points from various classes. The statistic employed is the relative density of the PCD, which is a U‐statistic when scaled properly. The authors derive the limiting distribution of the relative density, using the standard asymptotic theory of U‐statistics. They evaluate the finite‐sample performance of their test statistic by Monte Carlo simulations and assess its asymptotic performance via Pitman's asymptotic efficiency, thereby yielding the optimal parameters for testing. They further stress that their methodology remains valid for data in higher dimensions.

Related Topics

Related Publications

Related Content

Site Footer


This website is provided by John Wiley & Sons Limited, The Atrium, Southern Gate, Chichester, West Sussex PO19 8SQ (Company No: 00641132, VAT No: 376766987)

Published features on are checked for statistical accuracy by a panel from the European Network for Business and Industrial Statistics (ENBIS)   to whom Wiley and express their gratitude. This panel are: Ron Kenett, David Steinberg, Shirley Coleman, Irena Ograjenšek, Fabrizio Ruggeri, Rainer Göb, Philippe Castagliola, Xavier Tort-Martorell, Bart De Ketelaere, Antonio Pievatolo, Martina Vandebroek, Lance Mitchell, Gilbert Saporta, Helmut Waldl and Stelios Psarakis.