The Annals of Statistics

Rotation and scale space random fields and the Gaussian kinematic formula

Robert J. Adler, Eliran Subag, and Jonathan E. Taylor

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We provide a new approach, along with extensions, to results in two important papers of Worsley, Siegmund and coworkers closely tied to the statistical analysis of fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) brain data. These papers studied approximations for the exceedence probabilities of scale and rotation space random fields, the latter playing an important role in the statistical analysis of fMRI data. The techniques used there came either from the Euler characteristic heuristic or via tube formulae, and to a large extent were carefully attuned to the specific examples of the paper.

This paper treats the same problem, but via calculations based on the so-called Gaussian kinematic formula. This allows for extensions of the Worsley–Siegmund results to a wide class of non-Gaussian cases. In addition, it allows one to obtain results for rotation space random fields in any dimension via reasonably straightforward Riemannian geometric calculations. Previously only the two-dimensional case could be covered, and then only via computer algebra.

By adopting this more structured approach to this particular problem, a solution path for other, related problems becomes clearer.

Article information

Ann. Statist., Volume 40, Number 6 (2012), 2910-2942.

First available in Project Euclid: 8 February 2013

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Mathematical Reviews number (MathSciNet)

Zentralblatt MATH identifier

Primary: 60G60: Random fields 60G15: Gaussian processes
Secondary: 60D05: Geometric probability and stochastic geometry [See also 52A22, 53C65] 62M30: Spatial processes 52A22: Random convex sets and integral geometry [See also 53C65, 60D05] 60G70: Extreme value theory; extremal processes

Rotation space scale space random fields Gaussian kinematic formula Lipschitz–Killing curvatures Euler characteristic thresholding fMRI


Adler, Robert J.; Subag, Eliran; Taylor, Jonathan E. Rotation and scale space random fields and the Gaussian kinematic formula. Ann. Statist. 40 (2012), no. 6, 2910--2942. doi:10.1214/12-AOS1055.

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