A Comparison of the Sequential Gaussian and Markov-Bayes Simulation Methods for Small Samples1

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We compared the performance of sequential Gaussian simulation (sGs) and Markov-Bayes simulation (MBs) using relatively small samples taken from synthetic datasets. A moderate correlation (approximately r = 0.70) existed between a continuous primary variable and a continuous secondary variable. Given the small sample sizes, our objective was to determine whether MBs, with its ability to incorporate the secondary information, would prove superior to SgS. A split-split-plot computer experiment was conducted to compare the two simulation methods over a variety of primary and secondary sample sizes as well as spatial correlations. Using average mean square prediction error as a measure of local performance, sGs and MBs were roughly equivalent for random fields with short ranges (2 m). As range increased (15 m) the average mean square prediction error for sGs was less than or equal to that for MBs, even when number of noncollocated secondary observations was twice the number of collocated observations. Median variance within nonoverlapping subregions was used as a measure of the local heterogeneity or surface texture of the image. In most situations sGs images more faithfully reflected the true local heterogeneity, while MBs was more erratic, sometimes oversmoothing and sometimes undersmoothing.

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