[R] lmer() causes segfault

Bertolt Meyer bmeyer at sozpsy.uzh.ch
Mon Aug 23 18:15:00 CEST 2010

Hello lmer() - users,

A call to the lmer() function causes my installation of R (2.11.1 on  
Mac OS X 10.5.8) to crash and I am trying to figure out the problem.

I have a data set with longitudinal data of four subsequent  
performance measures of 1133 individuals nested in 88 groups. The data  
is in long format. I hypothesize a performance increase for each  
individual over time and intend to explain differences in these slopes  
with individual-level and group-level characteristics. Thus, I have  
hierarchic data with three levels (measurement time, individual, group).

With lme() (from the nlme package), this is my first simple model:

mod1 <- lme(fixed = performance ~ time,
			random = ~ 1 + time | GroupID/StudentNumber,
			data = dataset.long,
			na.action = na.omit)

It fits to the data well. I tried to specify the same model in lmer():


mod1 <- lmer(performance ~ time + (time | GroupID/StudentNumber), data  
= dataset.long, na.action = na.omit)

However, this call results in a segfault:

*** caught segfault ***
address 0x154c3000, cause 'memory not mapped'

and a lengthy traceback. I can reproduce this error. It also occurs  
when I don't load nlme before lme4. Can someone tell me what I am  
doing wrong? Any help is greatly appreciated.

With best regards,

Dr. Bertolt Meyer
Senior research and teaching associate
Social Psychology, Institute of Psychology, University of Zurich
Binzmuehlestrasse 14, Box 15
CH-8050 Zurich

bmeyer at sozpsy.uzh.ch

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