Calculates an estimate of the $L$-function (Besag's transformation of Ripley's $K$-function) for a spatial point pattern.

spatial, nonparametric
Arguments passed to Kest to estimate the $K$-function.

This command computes an estimate of the $L$-function for a spatial point pattern. The $L$-function is a transformation of Ripley's $K$-function, $$L(r) = \sqrt{\frac{K(r)}{\pi}}$$ where $K(r)$ is the $K$-function.

See Kest for information about Ripley's $K$-function. The transformation to $L$ was proposed by Besag (1977).

The command Lest first calls Kest to compute the estimate of the $K$-function, and then applies the square root transformation.

For a completely random (uniform Poisson) point pattern, the theoretical value of the $L$-function is $L(r) = r$. The square root also has the effect of stabilising the variance of the estimator, so that $K$ is more appropriate for use in simulation envelopes and hypothesis tests.

See Kest for the list of arguments.


  • An object of class "fv", see fv.object, which can be plotted directly using plot.fv.

    Essentially a data frame containing columns

  • rthe vector of values of the argument $r$ at which the function $L$ has been estimated
  • theothe theoretical value $L(r) = r$ for a stationary Poisson process
  • together with columns named "border", "bord.modif", "iso" and/or "trans", according to the selected edge corrections. These columns contain estimates of the function $L(r)$ obtained by the edge corrections named.

Variance approximations

If the argument var.approx=TRUE is given, the return value includes columns rip and ls containing approximations to the variance of $\hat L(r)$ under CSR. These are obtained by the delta method from the variance approximations described in Kest.


Besag, J. (1977) Discussion of Dr Ripley's paper. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Series B, 39, 193--195.

See Also

Kest, pcf

  • Lest
 L <- Lest(cells)
 plot(L, main="L function for cells")
Documentation reproduced from package spatstat, version 1.24-1, License: GPL (>= 2)

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