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    Author(s): Ronald E. McRoberts; Steen Magnussen; Erkki O. Tomppo; Gherardo Chirici
    Date: 2011
    Source: Remote Sensing of Environment. 115(12): 3165-3174.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Northern Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (583.92 KB)


    Nearest neighbors techniques have been shown to be useful for estimating forest attributes, particularly when used with forest inventory and satellite image data. Published reports of positive results have been truly international in scope. However, for these techniques to be more useful, they must be able to contribute to scientific inference which, for sample-based methods, requires estimates of uncertainty in the form of variances or standard errors. Several parametric approaches to estimating uncertainty for nearest neighbors techniques have been proposed, but they are complex and computationally intensive. For this study, two resampling estimators, the bootstrap and the jackknife, were investigated and compared to a parametric estimator for estimating uncertainty using the k-Nearest Neighbors (k-NN) technique with forest inventory and Landsat data from Finland, Italy, and the USA. The technical objectives of the study were threefold: (1) to evaluate the assumptions underlying a parametric approach to estimating k-NN variances; (2) to assess the utility of the bootstrap and jackknife methods with respect to the quality of variance estimates, ease of implementation, and computational intensity; and (3) to investigate adaptation of resampling methods to accommodate cluster sampling. The general conclusions were that support was provided for the assumptions underlying the parametric approach, the parametric and resampling estimators produced comparable variance estimates, care must be taken to ensure that bootstrap resampling mimics the original sampling, and the bootstrap procedure is a viable approach to variance estimation for nearest neighbor techniques that use very small numbers of neighbors to calculate predictions.

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    McRoberts, Ronald E.; Magnussen, Steen; Tomppo, Erkki O.; Chirici, Gherardo. 2011. Parametric, bootstrap, and jackknife variance estimators for the k-Nearest Neighbors technique with illustrations using forest inventory and satellite image data. Remote Sensing of Environment. 115(12): 3165-3174.


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    Model-based inference, Cluster sampling

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