The Network K-Function in Context: Examining the Effects of Network Structure on the Network K-Function

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The flaws of using traditional planar point-pattern analysis techniques with network constrained points have been thoroughly explored in the literature. Because of this, new network-based measures have been introduced for their planar analogues, including the network based K-function. These new measures involve the calculation of network distances between point events rather than traditional Euclidean distances. Some have suggested that the underlying structure of a network, such as whether it includes directional constraints or speed limits, may be considered when applying these methods. How different network structures might affect the results of the network spatial statistics is not well understood. This article examines the results of network K-functions when taking into consideration network distances for three different types of networks: the original road network, topologically correct networks, and directionally constrained networks. For this aim, four scenarios using road networks from Tampa, Florida and New York City, New York were used to test how network constraints affected the network K-function. Depending on which network is under consideration, the underlying network structure could impact the interpretation. In particular, directional constraints showed reduced clustering across the different scenarios. Caution should be used when selecting the road network, and constraints, for a network K-function analysis.

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Transactions in GIS, v. 20, issue 3, p. 448-460