By a pattern, we often mean a more or less regular spacing of elements. This could indicate a lateral inhibition process that could be explained e.g. by depletion and diffusion of chemical species. The machinery of spatial statistics can be helpful to identify and characterise such patterns in a rigorous manner.

A useful starting point is the null hypothesis of a so called Poisson process which places points independently and with uniform probability over the domain of interest. This results in complete spatial randomness (CSR) and the distribution of distances between nearest neighbours has a decaying exponential form. Under...

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