Confidence analysis of standard deviational ellipse and its extension into higher dimensional Euclidean space

Bin Wang, Wen Zhong Shi, Zelang Miao

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

161 Citations (Scopus)


Standard deviational ellipse (SDE) has long served as a versatile GIS tool for delineating the geographic distribution of concerned features. This paper firstly summarizes two existing models of calculating SDE, and then proposes a novel approach to constructing the same SDE based on spectral decomposition of the sample covariance, by which the SDE concept is naturally generalized into higher dimensional Euclidean space, named standard deviational hyper-ellipsoid (SDHE). Then, rigorous recursion formulas are derived for calculating the confidence levels of scaled SDHE with arbitrary magnification ratios in any dimensional space. Besides, an inexact-newton method based iterative algorithm is also proposed for solving the corresponding magnification ratio of a scaled SDHE when the confidence probability and space dimensionality are pre-specified. These results provide an efficient manner to supersede the traditional table lookup of tabulated chi-square distribution. Finally, synthetic data is employed to generate the 1-3 multiple SDEs and SDHEs. And exploratory analysis by means of SDEs and SDHEs are also conducted for measuring the spread concentrations of Hong Kong's H1N1 in 2009.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0118537
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 13 Mar 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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