The use of exploratory data techniques in the investigation of potential clusters of leukaemia in Wales

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    Abstract

    Spatial data has particular characteristics that allow its distribution to be inspected using analytical techniques. These techniques can be used to determine whether point datasets display a tendency towards spatial clustering. Locations of any clusters can then be ascertained.

    The Welsh Leukaemia Registry has provided postcode details of all leukaemia cases in Wales between 1991 and 2001.This paper describes a project that aims to examine the extent to which this dataset exhibits clustering tendencies. The exploratory techniques developed can be used to highlight areas where further investigation is needed in order to account for such clusters.

    Building upon previous research, the Cluster Location Analysis Procedure (CLAP) has been developed. CLAP incorporates the best attributes of other cluster detection tools (exhaustiveness, independent analysis), while introducing novel qualities of its own. Requiring no previous knowledge of the dataset, CLAP independently interprets the information in order to produce accurate results. CLAP is efficient and unlikely to disregard potential clusters. While CLAP was inspired by the need to analyse the leukaemia data provided, it is applicable to any type of point dataset containing relatively few cases.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages22
    Publication statusPublished - 2003

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