Dimension hopping and families of strictly positive definite zonal basis functions on spheres
Positive definite functions of compact support are widely used for radial basis function approximation as well as for estimation of spatial processes in geostatistics. Several constructions of such functions for Rd are based upon recurrence operators. These map functions of such type in a given space dimension onto similar ones in a space of lower or higher dimension. We provide analogs of these dimension hopping operators for positive definite, and strictly positive definite, zonal (radial) functions on the sphere. These operators are then used to provide new families of strictly positive definite functions with local support on the sphere.