[R-sig-ME] Commonly observed error message in lmer

Luciano La Sala lucianolasala at yahoo.com.ar
Sat Dec 27 03:39:42 CET 2008

Dear R-people,

It's me again with, maybe, one more silly question for you. As a remainder, I am running version 2.7.1 on Windows Vista. I have small dataset which consists of:

# NestID: nest indicator for each chicken. Siblings sharing the same nest have the same nest indicator.
# Chick: chick indicator consisting of a unique ID for each single chick.
# Year: 1, 2.
# ClutchSize: 1-, 2- , 3-eggs.
# HO: hatching order within each clutch (1, 2, 3 [first, second and third-hatched chick]).
# SibComp: sibling competence: present/ absent (0, 1)
# Death10: death at ten days post-hatch (0, 1)

In order to account for lack of independence at the nest level (many chicks are nested in nest), I'd like to run a GLMM with random slopes and intercepts for nests.

Using lmer, whenever I try to model two-way interaction like specified below: 
model1 <- lmer(Death10~HO*ClutchSize+(1|NestID),family=binomial,1)

.... the following error message pops up:  

In mer_finalize(ans, verbose) : gr cannot be computed at initial par (65)

1. What does this error mean? 
I look forward to hearing from you soon! 

Best, Luciano

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