Fast methods for spatially correlated multilevel functional data

Ana Maria Staicu, Ciprian M. Crainiceanu, Raymond J. Carroll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We propose a new methodological framework for the analysis of hierarchical functional data when the functions at the lowest level of the hierarchy are correlated. For small data sets, our methodology leads to a computational algorithm that is orders of magnitude more efficient than its closest competitor (seconds versus hours). For large data sets, our algorithm remains fast and has no current competitors. Thus, in contrast to published methods, we can now conduct routine simulations, leave-one-out analyses, and nonparametric bootstrap sampling. Our methods are inspired by and applied to data obtained from a state-of-the-art colon carcinogenesis scientific experiment. However, our models are general and will be relevant to many new data sets where the object of inference are functions or images that remain dependent even after conditioning on the subject on which they are measured. Supplementary materials are available at Biostatistics online.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)177-194
Number of pages18
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2010



  • Colon carcinogenesis
  • Covariogram estimation
  • Functional data analysis
  • Hierarchical modeling
  • Mixed models
  • Spatial modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty

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