The archaeological use of kernel density estimates

Beardah, C.C. and Baxter, M.J., 1996. The archaeological use of kernel density estimates. Internet Archaeology, 1.

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The main aim of this paper is to illustrate by example some of the advantages of kernel density estimates (KDEs) for data presentation in archaeology. At their simplest KDEs can be thought of as an alternative to the histogram which is possibly the most commonly used statistical device in archaeology. The appearance of a histogram, and hence the archaeological inferences drawn from it, depends on both the interval width used and the starting point of the first interval. A KDE overcomes this latter defect and results in a smoother diagram that is more useful for comparative purposes. The problem of choice of interval width remains, but theory exists to guide this choice and this is discussed in the paper. Two-dimensional histograms are difficult to interpret and require large amounts of data, and KDEs offer clear advantages in this case. After a non-technical introduction to KDEs the core of the paper is two sections on univariate and bivariate KDEs. These illustrate potential uses in archaeology and discuss some of the choices that need to be made in implementing the methodology. Some more experimental work with trivariate KDEs is also reported. Papers by the authors that deal with the more technical aspects of the methodology are electronically available.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Internet Archaeology
Creators: Beardah, C.C. and Baxter, M.J.
Publisher: University of York
Date: 1996
Volume: 1
Divisions: Schools > School of Science and Technology
Record created by: EPrints Services
Date Added: 09 Oct 2015 10:53
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2015 14:38

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