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Update to GNAR to version 1.1.3

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New Methods for Network Count Time Series Cover Image

New Methods for Network Count Time Series

The original generalized network autoregressive models are poor for modelling count data as they are based on the additive and constant noise assumptions, which is usually inappropriate for count data. We introduce two new models (GNARI and NGNAR) for count network time series by adapting and extending existing count-valued time series models. We present results on the statistical and asymptotic properties of our new models and their estimates obtained by conditional least squares and maximum likelihood. We conduct two simulation studies that verify successful parameter estimation for both models and conduct a further study that shows, for negative network parameters, that our NGNAR model outperforms existing models and our other GNARI model in terms of predictive performance. We model a network time series constructed from COVID-positive counts for counties in New York State during 2020--22 and show that our new models perform considerably better than existing methods for this problem.

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New tools for network time series Cover Image

New tools for network time series

Network time series are becoming increasingly important across many areas in science and medicine and are often characterised by a known or inferred underlying network structure, which can be exploited to make sense of dynamic phenomena that are often high-dimensional. For example, the Generalised Network Autoregressive (GNAR) models exploit such structure parsimoniously. We use the GNAR framework to introduce two association measures: the network and partial network autocorrelation functions, and introduce Corbit (correlation-orbit) plots for visualisation. As with regular autocorrelation plots, Corbit plots permit interpretation of underlying correlation structures and, crucially, aid model selection more rapidly than using other tools such as AIC or BIC. We additionally interpret GNAR processes as generalised graphical models, which constrain the processes' autoregressive structure and exhibit interesting theoretical connections to graphical models via utilization of higher-order interactions. We demonstrate how incorporation of prior information is related to performing variable selection and shrinkage in the GNAR context. We illustrate the usefulness of the GNAR formulation, network autocorrelations and Corbit plots by modelling a COVID-19 network time series of the number of admissions to mechanical ventilation beds at 140 NHS Trusts in England & Wales. We introduce the Wagner plot that can analyse correlations over different time periods or with respect to external covariates. In addition, we introduce plots that quantify the relevance and influence of individual nodes. Our modelling provides insight on the underlying dynamics of the COVID-19 series, highlights two groups of geographically co-located `influential' NHS Trusts and demonstrates superior prediction abilities when compared to existing techniques.

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Autoregressive Networks Cover Image

Autoregressive Networks

We propose a first-order autoregressive (i.e. AR(1)) model for dynamic network processes in which edges change over time while nodes remain unchanged. The model depicts the dynamic changes explicitly. It also facilitates simple and efficient statistical inference methods including a permutation test for diagnostic checking for the fitted network models. The proposed model can be applied to the network processes with various underlying structures but with independent edges. As an illustration, an AR(1) stochastic block model has been investigated in depth, which characterizes the latent communities by the transition probabilities over time. This leads to a new and more effective spectral clustering algorithm for identifying the latent communities. We have derived a finite sample condition under which the perfect recovery of the community structure can be achieved by the newly defined spectral clustering algorithm. Furthermore the inference for a change point is incorporated into the AR(1) stochastic block model to cater for possible structure changes. We have derived the explicit error rates for the maximum likelihood estimator of the change-point. Application with three real data sets illustrates both relevance and usefulness of the proposed AR(1) models and the associate inference methods.

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A two – way heterogeneity model for dynamic networks Cover Image

A two – way heterogeneity model for dynamic networks

Analysis of networks that evolve dynamically requires the joint modelling of individual snapshots and time dynamics. This paper proposes a new flexible two-way heterogeneity model towards this goal. The new model equips each node of the network with two heterogeneity parameters, one to characterize the propensity to form ties with other nodes statically and the other to differentiate the tendency to retain existing ties over time. With n observed networks each having p nodes, we develop a new asymptotic theory for the maximum likelihood estimation of 2p parameters when np→∞. We overcome the global non-convexity of the negative log-likelihood function by the virtue of its local convexity, and propose a novel method of moment estimator as the initial value for a simple algorithm that leads to the consistent local maximum likelihood estimator (MLE). To establish the upper bounds for the estimation error of the MLE, we derive a new uniform deviation bound, which is of independent interest. The theory of the model and its usefulness are further supported by extensive simulation and a data analysis examining social interactions of ants.

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The GNAR – edge model: A network autoregressive model fornetworks with time – varying edge weights Cover Image

The GNAR – edge model: A network autoregressive model fornetworks with time – varying edge weights

In economic and financial applications, there is often the need for analysing multivariate time series, comprising of time series for a range of quantities. In some applications such complex systems can be associated with some underlying network describing pairwise relationships among the quantities. Accounting for the underlying network structure for the analysis of this type of multivariate time series is required for assessing estimation error and can be particularly informative for forecasting. Our work is motivated by a dataset consisting of time series of industry-to-industry transactions. In this example, pairwise relationships between Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes can be represented using a network, with SIC codes as nodes, while the observed time series for each pair of SIC codes can be regarded as time-varying weights on the edges. Inspired by Knight et al. (2019), we introduce the GNAR-edge model which allows modelling of multiple time series utilising the network structure, assuming that each edge weight depends not only on its past values, but also on past values of its neighbouring edges, for a range of neighbourhood stages. The method is validated through simulations. Results from the implementation of the GNAR-edge model on the real industry-to-industry data show good fitting and predictive performance of the model. The predictive performance is improved when sparsifying the network using a lead-lag analysis and thresholding edges according to a lead-lag score.

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