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Statistica Sinica 31 (2021), 1463-1487


Shan Yu, Guannan Wang, Li Wang and Lijian Yang

University of Virginia, College of William & Mary,
Iowa State University and Tsinghua University

Abstract: Motivated by recent analyses of data in biomedical imaging studies, we consider a class of image-on-scalar regression models for imaging responses and scalar predictors. We propose using flexible multivariate splines over triangulations to handle the irregular domain of the objects of interest on the images, as well as other characteristics of images. The proposed estimators of the coefficient functions are proved to be root-n consistent and asymptotically normal under some regularity conditions. We also provide a consistent and computationally efficient estimator of the covariance function. Asymptotic pointwise confidence intervals and data-driven simultaneous confidence corridors for the coefficient functions are constructed. Our method can simultaneously estimate and make inferences on the coefficient functions, while incorporating spatial heterogeneity and spatial correlation. A highly efficient and scalable estimation algorithm is developed. Monte Carlo simulation studies are conducted to examine the finite-sample performance of the proposed method, which is then applied to the spatially normalized positron emission tomography data of the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative.

Key words and phrases: Coefficient maps, confidence corridors, image analysis, multivariate splines, triangulation.

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