[R-sig-ME] Error message

Ben Bolker bbolker at gmail.com
Wed Oct 22 23:36:34 CEST 2014

On 14-10-22 05:19 PM, Luciano La Sala wrote:
> Hello,
> A few years back I used to fit GLMM (binomial response) using lmer
> function in lme4. Back then I had to specify the family of response
> variable  (dead /alive) as binomial. Now I have to refit those models
> using quite newer versions of both R (R x64 3.1.1) and lme4
> (lme4_1.1-7), but things seem to have changed quite a bit.
> My response variable is death (yes/no), and independent variables are
> Year (2006 / 2007), Sex (M / F), Egg volume (continuous), and
> Hatching Order (ordered factor variable, namely first, second,
> third). I need to control autocorrelation among siblings, so I use
> "Nest ID" to fit random intercepts for different nests.
> My model is:
> model.1 <- lmer(Death_2 ~ Year + Sex + Egg_Volume + Hatch_Order +
> (1|Nest_ID), family = binomial, data = Data) summary(model.1)
> But I get the error and warning messages below:
> Error in eval(expr, envir, enclos) : (maxstephalfit) PIRLS
> step-halvings failed to reduce deviance in pwrssUpdate In
> addition:Warning message: In lmer(Death_2 ~ Year + Sex + Egg_Volume +
> Hatch_Order + (1 | Nest_ID),  : calling lmer with 'family' is
> deprecated; please use glmer() instead
> Question: how can I circumvent these two issues?

  You can circumvent the second very easily (by using glmer() instead of
lmer()).  For the second, I'm a little surprised, as we don't see that
error message very often unless the data are quite badly behaved (or
using a non-standard link like cloglog).  Does it work in lme4.0?  Any
chance you can send data?

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