This paper is concerned with statistics that scan a multidimensional spatial region to detect a signal against a noisy background. The background is modelled as independent observations from an exponential family of distributions with a known `null' value of the natural parameter, while the signal is given by independent observations from the same exponential family, but with a different value of the parameter on a particular subregion of the spatial domain. The main result is an extension to multidimensional time of the method of Pollak and Yakir, which relies on a change of measure motivated by change-point analysis, to evaluate approximately the null distribution of the likelihood ratio statistic. Both large-deviation and Poisson approximations are obtained.
"Tail probabilities for the null distribution of scanning statistics." Bernoulli 6 (2) 191 - 213, April 2000.