Scan Tests

Authored by: Inkyung Jung

Handbook of Spatial Epidemiology

Print publication date:  April  2016
Online publication date:  April  2016

Print ISBN: 9781482253016
eBook ISBN: 9781482253023
Adobe ISBN:


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Scan statistics have been extensively studied since Naus first stated the problem of clustering points on a line and in two dimensions in 1965 (Naus 1965a, 1965b). Various topics on scan statistics are thoroughly covered in the books by Glaz and Balakrishnan (1999) and Glaz et al. (2001, 2009). In spatial epidemiology, we are often concerned with the location, size, and intensity of clusters when studying local area clustering (Pfeiffer et al. 2008). The spatial scan statistic proposed by Kulldorff (1997) is one of the most popular methods for identifying local clusters. This method imposes a large number of scanning windows with variable sizes on a study region and compares the areas inside versus those outside the scanning windows. The procedure of finding the most likely cluster is formulated using a hypothesis testing framework with a test statistic based on the likelihood ratio test.

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