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Activity Number: 173
Type: Contributed
Date/Time: Monday, August 1, 2016 : 10:30 AM to 12:20 PM
Sponsor: Section on Statistics and the Environment
Abstract #321041
Title: Is Gun Violence Contagious? Descriptive Spatio-Temporal Testing and Modeling with Large-Scale Point Process
Author(s): Charles Loeffler* and Seth Flaxman and William Herlands and Hannes Nickisch
Companies: University of Pennsylvania and University of Oxford and Carnegie Mellon University and Philips Research Hamburg
Keywords: Gun Violence ; Contagion ; Spatio-Temporal ; Crime ; Point Process

Existing theories of gun violence predict stable spatial concentrations and contagious diffusion of gun violence into surrounding areas. However, the existing empirical tests find limited evidence of such spatial-temporal diffusion due in part to the difficulty of distinguishing spatial-temporal clustering from spatial-temporal diffusion and also due to incomplete measurement of gun violence, much of which goes unreported to police. Using point process data from an acoustical gunshot locator system, refined spatial-temporal interaction tests and scalable machine learning methods for inference in Cox process models this paper demonstrates that contemporary urban gun violence does diffuse spatially and temporally, and quantifies the relative contribution of space, time, and space-time interactions to the empirical distribution of gun violence.

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