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Estimation of Expected Euler Characteristic Curves of Nonstationary Smooth Gaussian Random Fields

by   Armin Schwartzman, et al.

The expected Euler characteristic (EEC) curve of excursion sets of a Gaussian random field is used to approximate the distribution of its supremum for high thresholds. Viewed as a function of the excursion threshold, the EEC is expressed by the Gaussian kinematic formula (GKF) as a linear function of the Lipschitz-Killing curvatures (LKCs) of the field, which solely depend on the domain and covariance function of the field. So far its use for non-stationary Gaussian fields over non-trivial domains has been limited because in this case the LKCs are difficult to estimate. In this paper, consistent estimators of the LKCs are proposed as linear projections of "pinned" observed Euler characteristic curves and a linear parametric estimator of the EEC curve is obtained, which is more efficient than its nonparametric counterpart for repeated observations. A multiplier bootstrap modification reduces the variance of the estimator, and allows estimation of LKCs and EEC of the limiting field of non-Gaussian fields satisfying a functional CLT. The proposed methods are evaluated using simulations of 2D fields and illustrated in thresholding of 3D fMRI brain activation maps and cosmological simulations on the 2-sphere.


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