Multiscale Properties of Random Walk Models of Animal Movement: Lessons from Statistical Inference

2012-03-09T11:20:22Z (GMT) by Reiichiro Kawai Sergei Petrovskii
The random search problem has long attracted continuous interest owing to its broad interdisciplinary range of applications, including animal foraging, facilitated target location in biological systems and human motion. In this paper, we address the issue of statistical inference for ordinary Gaussian, Pareto, tempered Pareto and fractional Gaussian random walk models, which are among the most studied random walk models proposed as the best strategy in the random search problem. Based on rigorous analysis of the local asymptotic normality property and the Fisher information, we discuss some issues in unbiased joint estimation of the model parameters, in particular, the maximum-likelihood estimation. We present that there exist both theoretical and practical difficulties in more realistic tempered Pareto and fractional Gaussian random walk models from a statistical standpoint. We discuss our findings in the context of individual animal movement and show how our results may be used to facilitate the analysis of movement data and to improve the understanding of the underlying stochastic process.

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