[R-sig-ME] Modelling non-negative non-zero continuous data

Victoria Pattison-Willits v|ctor|@@w||||t@ @end|ng |rom gm@||@com
Mon May 2 12:52:01 CEST 2022

Hi Thierry

Thank you so much for the advice and link to your blog post. I have
investigated all the different random effects structures including
modelling year as either a fixed or random variable. depending on the
response variable I  am dealing with, model fit and validation is most
often better modelled when it is a random effect … but will certainly look
into modelling it as a fixed effect again. And to confirm Yes all
exploratory analyses were done and all covariates are fine! And all have a
linear relationship.

Thanks so much again your advice is most welcome and appreciated!

Best wishes

On Mon, May 2, 2022 at 3:43 AM, Thierry Onkelinx <thierry.onkelinx using inbo.be>

> Dear Vicki,
> When you have only one measurement per nest box, then you can't have
> "nest box" as a random effect as it would confound with the residuals.
> I recommend adding "year" as a fixed effect factor. I wrote a blog post on
> the required number of levels for a random effect:
> https://www.muscardinus.be/2018/09/number-random-effect-levels/
> I presume you did an exploratory data analysis and handle covariates with
> strong correlation. Do all covariates have a linear relationship with the
> response?
> Best regards,
> ir. Thierry Onkelinx
> Statisticus / Statistician
> Vlaamse Overheid / Government of Flanders
> Team Biometrie & Kwaliteitszorg / Team Biometrics & Quality Assurance
> thierry.onkelinx using inbo.be
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> bus 73, 1000 Brussel
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> Op vr 29 apr. 2022 om 20:58 schreef Victoria Pattison-Willits <
> victoriaswillits using gmail.com>:
>> Dear all,
>> I am hoping you can help me. I am trying to model chick tarsi (leg length)
>> data. Briefly, I have mean measurements of tarsus length from 457 nests.
>> The data were collected across 31 sites (10 nests in each site) over a
>> six-year period so I have an *a priori *nested random effects structure:
>> (1|SITE_ID/BOX_NUMBER) + (1|YEAR). (Although  I have had to remove the
>> nested nest_box term due to convergence issues - there is a lot of
>> variance
>> between nests within sites.)
>> The problem that I am running into is that the data is bound between the
>> values 12.73 and 20.12 mm. Both the data itself and the residuals from a
>> lmer model are left-skewed because the data is non-negative and non-zero.
>> The initial suite of models I have tried follows the below: I am running
>> models using both glmmTMB and lme (lmer).
>> (Also I have run the same models using the same length data for a bunch of
>> other response variables with no issues including various breeding
>> outcomes
>> and chick measurements). Fixed covariates are scaled and centred: (sc.)
>> e.g.
>> ```{r}
>> data=DF_CHICK_TARSUS, family = gaussian)
>> summary(TL_BUILT_FULL_TMB2)
>> ```
>> I am a little stumped as to what to do - I have run the same model using
>> reflected and log (and/or square root) transformed data - which does seem
>> to resolve the residual issues. However, I know that this is not the best
>> resolution and is rarely done, and transforming data even for the more
>> commonly found right-skewed data is increasingly discouraged. However, I
>> am
>> not finding (and this may be me not using the correct terms in my search!)
>> any other options to overcome the issue of non-negative non-zero data -
>> plenty of advice for ecological data that is right-skewed or left-skewed
>> and zero-inflated!
>> If anyone can help me I would really appreciate it. Thank you all so much
>> as always in advance for your time and knowledge sharing. I am gradually
>> building up my competence in R and mixed modelling and this forum has been
>> really helpful on this steep learning curve! I am hoping I am just missing
>> something obvious! Please let me know if you need any other information
>> from me. Thank you!
>> Very best wishes.
>> Vicki Willits
>> >
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