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Title: Fast expectation-maximization algorithms for spatial generalized linear mixed models Authors:  Yawen Guan - University of Nebraska - Lincoln (United States) [presenting]
Murali Haran - The Pennsylvania State University (United States)
Abstract: Spatial generalized linear mixed models (SGLMMs) are popular and flexible models for non-Gaussian spatial data. They are useful for spatial interpolations as well as for fitting regression models that account for spatial dependence, and are commonly used in many disciplines such as epidemiology, atmospheric science, and sociology. Inference for SGLMMs is typically carried out under the Bayesian framework at least in part because computational issues make maximum likelihood estimation challenging, especially when high-dimensional spatial data are involved. We provide a computationally efficient projection-based maximum likelihood approach and two computationally efficient algorithms for routinely fitting SGLMMs. The two algorithms proposed are both variants of the expectation-maximization algorithm, using either Markov chain Monte Carlo or a Laplace approximation for the conditional expectation. The methodology is general and applies to both discrete-domain (Gaussian Markov random field) as well as continuous-domain (Gaussian process) spatial models. We show, via simulation and real data applications, that our methods perform well both in terms of parameter estimation as well as prediction. Crucially, our methodology is computationally efficient and scales well with the size of the data and is applicable to problems where maximum likelihood estimation was previously infeasible.