Clark and Evans Aggregation Index

Computes the Clark and Evans aggregation index $R$ for a spatial point pattern.

spatial, nonparametric
clarkevans(X, correction=c("none", "Donnelly", "cdf"),
A spatial point pattern (object of class "ppp").
Character vector. The type of edge correction(s) to be applied.
Clipping region for the guard area correction. A window (object of class "owin"). See Details.

The Clark and Evans (1954) aggregation index $R$ is a crude measure of clustering or ordering of a point pattern. It is the ratio of the observed mean nearest neighbour distance in the pattern to that expected for a Poisson point process of the same intensity. A value $R>1$ suggests ordering, while $R<1$ suggests="" clustering.<="" p="">

Without correction for edge effects, the value of R will be positively biased. Edge effects arise because, for a point of X close to the edge of the window, the true nearest neighbour may actually lie outside the window. Hence observed nearest neighbour distances tend to be larger than the true nearest neighbour distances.

The argument correction specifies an edge correction or several edge corrections to be applied. It is a character vector containing one or more of the options "none", "Donnelly", "guard" and "cdf" (which are recognised by partial matching). These edge corrections are: [object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object] If the argument clipregion is given, then the selected edge corrections will be assumed to include correction="guard".

To perform a test based on the Clark-Evans index, see clarkevans.test.


  • A numeric value, or a numeric vector with named components
  • naive$R$ without edge correction
  • Donnelly$R$ using Donnelly edge correction
  • guard$R$ using guard region
  • cdf$R$ using cdf method
  • (as selected by correction). The value of the Donnelly component will be NA if the window of X is not a rectangle.


Clark, P.J. and Evans, F.C. (1954) Distance to nearest neighbour as a measure of spatial relationships in populations Ecology 35, 445--453.

Donnelly, K. (1978) Simulations to determine the variance and edge-effect of total nearest neighbour distance. In I. Hodder (ed.) Simulation studies in archaeology, Cambridge/New York: Cambridge University Press, pp 91--95.

See Also

clarkevans.test, hopskel, nndist, Gest

  • clarkevans
# Example of a clustered pattern

  # Example of an ordered pattern

  # Random pattern
  X <- rpoispp(100)

  # How to specify a clipping region
  clip1 <- owin(c(0.1,0.9),c(0.1,0.9))
  clip2 <- erosion(cells$window, 0.1)
  clarkevans(cells, clipregion=clip1)
  clarkevans(cells, clipregion=clip2)
Documentation reproduced from package spatstat, version 1.41-1, License: GPL (>= 2)

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