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SSA WA: Evaluation of spatial Bayesian Empirical Likelihood models in analysis of small area data (Dr Farzana Jahan)

  • 11 Oct 2022
  • 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM (AWST)
  • Cheryl Praeger Lecture Room, The University of Western Australia


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Announcing the October meeting of the WA Branch of the Statistical Society of Australia. All visitors are welcome to attend this event.

Date: Tuesday, 11 October 2022.
Time: 6:00PM.
Location: Cheryl Praeger Lecture Room, The University of Western Australia.

We are pleased to host our guest speaker Dr Farzana Jahan of Murdoch University.


Evaluation of spatial Bayesian Empirical Likelihood models in analysis of small area data

Dr Farzana Jahan, Murdoch University.

Bayesian empirical likelihood (BEL) models are becoming increasingly popular as an attractive alternative to fully parametric models. However, they have only recently been applied to spatial data analysis for small area estimation. This study considers the development of spatial BEL models using two popular conditional autoregressive (CAR) priors, namely BYM and Leroux priors. The performance of the proposed models is compared with their parametric counterparts and with existing spatial BEL models using independent Gaussian priors and generalised Moran basis priors. The models are applied to two benchmark spatial datasets, simulation study and COVID-19 data. The results indicate promising opportunities for these models to capture new insights into spatial data. Specifically, the spatial BEL models outperform the parametric spatial models when the underlying distributional assumptions of data appear to be violated.

About the Speaker

I am a passionate about statistics and data science teaching and research. I have over 3 years experience in university teaching in Australia and experience of over 3 years in Bangladesh. I recently completed my PhD from Queensland University of Technology, Queensland, Australia. My PhD research was about Bayesian spatial modelling for small area level data. My research interests include: Bayesian Statistics, spatial modelling, modelling aggregated level data. The area of application includes but not limited to health and environment. I wish to balance between teaching and research and contribute to Statistics and Data Science discipline by getting involved in collaborative projects.

Refreshments and Dinner

Members and visitors are invited to mingle over wine and cheese from 5:30PM onwards at the venue.

Following the meeting all are invited to dine at a nearby restaurant. Visitors are welcome.

Meeting directions

The Cheryl Praeger Lecture Room is located on the ground floor of the Mathematics building at The University of Western Australia. Its entrance is on the northern side of the building. See: UWA Maps, Google Maps.

Parking is free on the UWA Crawley campus after 5:00PM. A convenient place to park is Car Park 18 accessible from Fairway Entry 1.

Remote Viewing Option

For those that cannot attend in-person, the presentation will be streamed live over Zoom. Please register on this page to get the connection details.

For further information please contact the WA Branch Secretary (

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