[R] lmer and negative binomial family

Ben Bolker bolker at ufl.edu
Thu Oct 29 16:38:21 CET 2009

John Sorkin wrote:
> Patrick,
> I am not sure about this but 
> (1) I think you need to load the lme4 package, not MASS
> (2) I don't think neg.bin is allowable. I suggest you load lme4 and then
> type ?family
> John

This conversation would probably go better on
r-sig-mixed-models at r-project.org ...
In the meanwhile --
   for a long time (I thought always, but I guess that's not true) the
families have been hard-coded within lme4, for purposes of efficiency.
The bottom line is that you can only use the following families:

famNms <- c("binomial", "gaussian", "Gamma", "inverse.gaussian",
            "poisson", "quasibinomial", "quasipoisson", "quasi")

'quasipoisson' might be good, if you're willing to settle for a quasi-
although you should be careful with random effects variances -- in earlier
versions there are some problems with the scaling there

   If you really need NB I would suggest glmmADMB ...

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