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Paper No. 14-21

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G Zanella

Bayesian Complementary Clustering, MCMC and Anglo-Saxon Placenames

Abstract: Common cluster models for multi-type point processes model the aggregation of points of the same type. In complete contrast, in the study of Anglo-Saxon settlements it is hypothesized that administrative clusters involving complementary names tend to appear. We investigate the evidence for such an hypothesis by developing a Bayesian Random Partition Model based on clusters formed by points of different types (complementary clustering). As a result we obtain an intractable posterior distribution on the space of matchings contained in a k-partite hypergraph.We apply the Metropolis-Hastings (MH) algorithm to sample from this posterior. We consider the problem of choosing an efficient MH proposal distribution and we obtain consistent mixing improvements compared to the choices found in the literature. Simulated Tempering techniques can be used to overcome multimodality and a multiple proposal scheme is developed to allow for parallel programming. Finally, we discuss results arising from the careful use of convergence diagnostic techniques. This allows us to study a dataset including locations and placenames of 1319 Anglo-Saxon settlements dated between 750 and 850 AD. Without strong prior knowledge, the model allows for explicit estimation of the number of clusters, the average intra-cluster dispersion and the level of interaction among placenames. The results support the hypothesis of organization of settlements into administrative clusters based on complementary names.