Modeling and Inference for Multivariate Time Series, with Applications to Integer-Valued Processes and Nonstationary Extreme Data

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


This dissertation proposes new statistical methods for modeling and inference for two specific types of time series: integer-valued data and multivariate nonstationary extreme data. We rely on the class of integer-valued autoregressive (INAR) processes for the former, proposing a novel, flexible and elegant way of modeling count phenomena. As for the latter, we are interested in the human brain and its multi-channel electroencephalogram (EEG) recordings, a natural source of extreme events. Thus, we develop new extreme value theory methods for analyzing such data, whether in modeling the conditional extremal dependence for brain connectivity or clustering extreme brain communities of EEG channels. Regarding integer-valued time series, INAR processes are generally defined by specifying the thinning operator and either the innovations or the marginal distributions. The major limitations of such processes include difficulties deriving the marginal properties and justifying the choice of the thinning operator. To overcome these drawbacks, this dissertation proposes a novel approach for building an INAR model that offers the flexibility to prespecify both marginal and innovation distributions. Thus, the thinning operator is no longer subjectively selected but is rather a direct consequence of the marginal and innovation distributions specified by the modeler. Novel INAR processes are introduced following this perspective; these processes include a model with geometric marginal and innovation distributions (Geo-INAR) and models with bounded innovations. We explore the Geo-INAR model, which is a natural alternative to the classical Poisson INAR model. The Geo-INAR process has interesting stochastic properties, such as MA($\infty$) representation, time reversibility, and closed forms for the $h$-th-order transition probabilities, which enables a natural framework to perform coherent forecasting. In the front of multivariate nonstationary extreme data, the focus lies on multi-channel epilepsy data. Epilepsy is a chronic neurological disorder affecting more than 50 million people globally. An epileptic seizure acts like a temporary shock to the neuronal system, disrupting normal electrical activity in the brain. Epilepsy is frequently diagnosed with EEGs. Current statistical approaches for analyzing EEGs use spectral and coherence analysis, which do not focus on extreme behavior in EEGs (such as bursts in amplitude), neglecting that neuronal oscillations exhibit non-Gaussian heavy-tailed probability distributions. To overcome this limitation, this dissertation proposes new approaches to characterize brain connectivity based on extremal features of EEG signals. Two extreme-valued methods to study alterations in the brain network are proposed. One method is Conex-Connect, a pioneering approach linking the extreme amplitudes of a reference EEG channel with the other channels in the brain network. The other method is Club Exco, which clusters multi-channel EEG data based on a spherical $k$-means procedure applied to the "pseudo-angles," derived from extreme amplitudes of EEG signals. Both methods provide new insights into how the brain network organizes itself during an extreme event, such as an epileptic seizure, in contrast to a baseline state.
Date of AwardApr 2023
Original languageEnglish (US)
Awarding Institution
  • Computer, Electrical and Mathematical Sciences and Engineering
SupervisorRaphael Huser (Supervisor) & Hernando Ombao (Supervisor)


  • (integer-valued) time series
  • extreme value theory
  • nonstationarity
  • clustering
  • brain connectivity
  • epilepsy

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