Paper submitted to Consultant's Forum of Biometrics


This paper investigates the use of non-Euclidean distances to characterize isotropic spatial dependence for geostatistical related applications. A simple example is provided to demonstrate there are no guarantees that existing covariogram and variogram functions remain valid (i.e.\ positive definite or conditionally negative definite) when used with a non-Euclidean distance measure. Furthermore, satisfying the conditions of a metric is not sufficient to ensure the distance measure can be used with existing functions. Current literature is not clear on these topics. There are certain distance measures that when used with existing covariogram and variogram functions remain valid, an issue that is explored. No new theorems are provided, rather links between existing theorems and definitions related to the concepts of isometric embedding, conditionally negative definiteness, and positive definiteness are used to demonstrate classes of valid norm dependent isotropic covariogram and variogram functions, results most of which have yet to appear in mainstream geostatistical literature or application. These classes of functions extend the well known classes by adding a parameter to define the distance norm. In practice, this distance parameter can be set a priori to represent, for example, the Euclidean distance, or kept as a parameter to allow the data to choose the distance norm. Applications of the latter are provided for demonstration.


Statistical Models