Bogaert, P., Division of Soil Physics, Agricultural Research Organization, Volcani Center, Bet-Dagan, Israel

Russo, D., Division of Soil Physics, Agricultural Research Organization, Volcani Center, Bet-Dagan, Israel

Russo, D., Division of Soil Physics, Agricultural Research Organization, Volcani Center, Bet-Dagan, Israel

A methodology for the choice of optimal spatial sampling designs is proposed. The problem is to find an optimal finite set of space locations where a random field has to be sampled, in order to minimize the variability of the parametric variogram estimator. Under the hypothesis that the random field is Gaussian second-order stationary and using a first-order approximation for the linearization of the parametric variogram with respect to its parameters, we are able to express the covariance matrix of the parameter estimators as a function of the sampling design. An optimization algorithm based on a generalized least squares approach is proposed in order to reduce the variability of these estimators through the minimization of the determinant of their covariance matrix. In order to validate this approach, a practical case study is conducted for two different variogram models. It shows that compared to random sampling designs, the benefit of the optimization procedure is somewhat limited for a variogram model without nugget effect. For a variogram model with nugget effect, random sampling designs are associated with much higher variability on the parameter estimators than optimized designs because of the typical lack of information offered by random sampling designs for small distances between locations. The performance of random sampling designs compared tO optimized or alternative regular designs is shown to be poor with respect to parameter estimation, especially when a nugget effect is included in the variogram model. The parameters that benefit the most from the optimization procedure are the variance and the nugget effect, whereas the improvement for the range parameter estimation is limited. The optimization algorithm provides yardstick results, yielding reference values for the selection of an alternative regular design. The applicability of the algorithm is very wide, and it can greatly help the user to understand the way the parameters are influenced by the choice of a set of sampling locations instead of another.

Optimal spatial sampling design for the estimation of the variogram based on a least squares approach

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Bogaert, P., Division of Soil Physics, Agricultural Research Organization, Volcani Center, Bet-Dagan, Israel

Russo, D., Division of Soil Physics, Agricultural Research Organization, Volcani Center, Bet-Dagan, Israel

Russo, D., Division of Soil Physics, Agricultural Research Organization, Volcani Center, Bet-Dagan, Israel

Optimal spatial sampling design for the estimation of the variogram based on a least squares approach

A methodology for the choice of optimal spatial sampling designs is proposed. The problem is to find an optimal finite set of space locations where a random field has to be sampled, in order to minimize the variability of the parametric variogram estimator. Under the hypothesis that the random field is Gaussian second-order stationary and using a first-order approximation for the linearization of the parametric variogram with respect to its parameters, we are able to express the covariance matrix of the parameter estimators as a function of the sampling design. An optimization algorithm based on a generalized least squares approach is proposed in order to reduce the variability of these estimators through the minimization of the determinant of their covariance matrix. In order to validate this approach, a practical case study is conducted for two different variogram models. It shows that compared to random sampling designs, the benefit of the optimization procedure is somewhat limited for a variogram model without nugget effect. For a variogram model with nugget effect, random sampling designs are associated with much higher variability on the parameter estimators than optimized designs because of the typical lack of information offered by random sampling designs for small distances between locations. The performance of random sampling designs compared tO optimized or alternative regular designs is shown to be poor with respect to parameter estimation, especially when a nugget effect is included in the variogram model. The parameters that benefit the most from the optimization procedure are the variance and the nugget effect, whereas the improvement for the range parameter estimation is limited. The optimization algorithm provides yardstick results, yielding reference values for the selection of an alternative regular design. The applicability of the algorithm is very wide, and it can greatly help the user to understand the way the parameters are influenced by the choice of a set of sampling locations instead of another.

Scientific Publication

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