[R-sig-ME] predict.fixef? -- Help: making predictions for applied problems using glmm
datkins at u.washington.edu
Mon Mar 9 18:07:18 CET 2009
Perhaps I can tag on to Matt's question. Back when I used lme() for my
analyses, I would often use:
predict(lmeobj, newdata, level=0)
to get predictions from the model, only using the fixed-effects. This
is quite useful with interactions, nonlinear terms, and just generally
for understanding the results of the model (as I'm sure many listmembers
1. There have been a handful of emails over the years noting that it is
particularly tricky to know what to do with *random-effects* in
predictions. Frankly, I'm not concerned about this for my own work, as
I invariably was looking at predictions based on fixed-effects only.
2. There have also been emails showing how to "roll you own"
predictions, using newdata, model.matrix, and multiplying through by the
vector of fixed-effects coefficients.
Thus, #2 can do what I'd like (and I've used it), though I've also
gotten bit once or twice by not having the columns line-up correctly
between coefficients and newdata (okay, I concede operator error...).
But, it sure would be handy to have a predict(..., level=0), or perhaps
predict.fixef() command for use with lmer() objects.
I did actually look at the predict.lme code at one point, but I fear
it's a bit beyond my limited coding talents...
[And, let me end by saying I'm reticent to ever suggest that Doug (or
someone else) "ought" to code this up, because I'm acutely aware of how
much work Doug has done to benefit the lmer() users. I thought I'd
throw out this request b/c Matt had suggested something similar, and
perhaps someone has even cooked up such code already...]
Dave Atkins, PhD
Research Associate Professor
Center for the Study of Health and Risk Behaviors
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science
1100 NE 45th Street, Suite 300
Seattle, WA 98105
datkins at u.washington.edu
Dear R users,
My query concerns how best to make inferences for applied problems from
the outcomes of a mixed modelling approach. I am an ecologist and have
been modelling the presence or absence of a species of vole in patches
of suitable habitat in upland areas in relation to a number of
biologically meaningful covariates. My sampling design includes 310 vole
habitat patches within 9 river subcatchments and I have included
subcatchment as a random effect in order to incorporate this structure
in the data. I have used the information-theoretic approach with model
weighting and averaging to make inferences about model selection and the
consistency of parameter estimates. However, I am faced with one
outstanding issue: as my question is an applied one, it is highly
desirable to predict the probability of a vole habitat patch being
occupied given a particular set of covariate values. This is easily done
in glm using the predict() function, but I am aware that no such
function exist for glmm.
However, would it be sound to take a similar approach to the
coefficients and se for glmm i.e by back-transforming and applying to a
range of x?
Or, would such an approach fail to take into account the model structure
based on the random effect?
If so, would a reasonable approach be to estimate coefficients from
re-samples of the data whilst maintaining the model structure? Predicted
values could then be presented with confidence intervals that reflected
variation in the structure of the data.
If not, what (if there is such a thing) would be the appropriate way to
make predictions from glmm for applied problems such as this?
I hope I have been reasonably clear and am not being too ignorant. Any
advice or comments would be much appreciated.
Dr Matthew Oliver
School of Biological Sciences
University of Aberdeen
Aberdeen AB24 2TZ
tel + 44(0)1224 272789
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