The covariance structure of spatial Gaussian predictors (aka Kriging predictors) is generally modeled by parameterized covariance functions; the associated hyperparameters in turn are estimated via the method of maximum likelihood. In this work, the asymptotic behavior of the maximum likelihood of spatial Gaussian predictor models as a function of its hyperparameters is investigated theoretically. Asymptotic sandwich bounds for the maximum likelihood function in terms of the condition number of the associated covariance matrix are established. As a consequence, the main result is obtained: optimally trained nondegenerate spatial Gaussian processes cannot feature arbitrary ill-conditioned correlation matrices. The implication of this theorem on Kriging hyperparameter optimization is exposed. A nonartificial example is presented, where maximum likelihood-based Kriging model training is necessarily bound to fail.
Ralf Zimmermann. "Asymptotic Behavior of the Likelihood Function of Covariance Matrices of Spatial Gaussian Processes." J. Appl. Math. 2010 1 - 17, 2010. https://doi.org/10.1155/2010/494070