Statistica Sinica 25(1) , 189-204 (Jan 2015)
A Bayesian hierarchical model is developed for count data with spatial and temporal correlations as well as excessive zeros, uneven sampling intensities, and inference on missing spots. Our contribution is to develop a model on zero-inflated count data that provides flexibility in modeling spatial patterns in a dynamic manner and also improves the computational efficiency via dimension reduction. The proposed methodology is of particular importance for studying species presence and abundance in the field of ecological sciences. The proposed model is employed in the analysis of the survey data by the Northeast Fisheries Sciences Center (NEFSC) for estimation and prediction of the Atlantic cod in the Gulf of Maine – Georges Bank region. Model comparisons based on the deviance information criterion and the log predictive score show the improvement by the proposed spatial-temporal model.