Models are wrong

...but, some are useful (G. Box)!


lmDiallel: a new R package to fit diallel models. The Gardner-Eberhart models

Published at February 22, 2021 ·  15 min read

Another post for this series about diallel mating experiments. So far, we have published a paper in Plant Breeding (Onofri et al., 2020), where we presented lmDiallel, a new R package to fit diallel models. We followed up this paper with a series of four blog posts, giving more detail about the package (see here), about the Hayman’s models type 1 (see here) and type 2 (see here) and about the Griffing’s family of models (see here)....

Split-plot designs: the transition to mixed models for a dinosaur

Published at February 11, 2021 ·  15 min read

Those who long ago took courses in ‘analysis of variance’ or ‘experimental design’ … would have learned methods … based on observed and expected mean squares and methods of testing based on ‘error strata’ (if you weren’t forced to learn this, consider yourself lucky). (Douglas Bates, 2006). In a previous post, I already mentioned that, due to my age, I see myself as a dinosaur within the R-users community. I already mentioned how difficult it is, for a dinosaur, to adjust to new concepts and paradigms in data analysis, after having done things differently for a long time ( see this post here )....

Pairwise comparisons in nonlinear regression

Published at January 19, 2021 ·  6 min read

Pairwise comparisons are one of the most debated topic in agricultural research: they are very often used and, sometimes, abused, in literature. I have nothing against the appropriate use of this very useful technique and, for those who are interested, some colleagues and I have given a bunch of (hopefully) useful suggestions in a paper, a few years ago (follow this link here). Pairwise comparisons usually follow the application of some sort of linear or generalised linear model; in this setting, the ‘emmeans’ package (Lenth, 2020) is very handy, as it uses a very logical approach....

lmDiallel: a new R package to fit diallel models. The Griffing's models (1956)

Published at January 12, 2021 ·  10 min read

Diallel mating designs are often used by plant breeders to compare the possible crosses between a set of genotypes. In spite of such widespread usage, the process of data analysis in R is not yet strightforward and it is not clear which tool should be routinely used. We recently gave a small contribution by publishing a paper in Plant Breeding (Onofri et al., 2020 ), where we advocated the idea that models for diallel crosses are just a class of general linear models, that should be fit by Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) or REstricted Maximum Likelihood methods (REML)....

lmDiallel: a new R package to fit diallel models. The Hayman's model (type 2)

Published at January 5, 2021 ·  9 min read

This posts follows two other previously published posts, where we presented our new ‘lmDiallel’ package (see here) and showed how we can use it to fit the Hayman’s model type 1, as proposed in Hayman (1954) (see here). In this post, we will give a further example relating to another very widespread model from the same author, the Hayman’s model type 2. We apologise for some overlapping with previous posts: we think this is necessary so that each post can be read on its own....

General code to fit ANOVA models with JAGS and 'rjags'

Published at December 23, 2020 ·  15 min read

One of the reasons why I like BUGS and all related dialects has been put nicely in a very good book, i.e. “Introduction to WinBUGS for ecologists” (Kery, 2010); at page 11, the author says: “WinBUGS helps free the modeler in you”. Ultimately, that statement is true: when I have fully understood a model with all its components (and thus I have become a modeler), I can very logically translate it to BUGS code....

From ''for()'' loops to the ''split-apply-combine'' paradigm for column-wise tasks: the transition for a dinosaur

Published at December 11, 2020 ·  9 min read

I have been involved with data crunching for 30 years, and, due to my age, I see myself as a dinosaur within the R-users community. I must admit, I’m rather slow to incorporate new paradigms in my programming workflow … I’m pretty busy and the time I save today is often more important than the time I could save in the future, by picking up new techniques. However, resisting to progress is not necessarily a good idea and, from time to time, also a dinosaur feels like living more dangerously and exploring new ideas and views....

Accounting for the experimental design in linear/nonlinear regression analyses

Published at December 4, 2020 ·  11 min read

In this post, I am going to talk about an issue that is often overlooked by agronomists and biologists. The point is that field experiments are very often laid down in blocks, using split-plot designs, strip-plot designs or other types of designs with grouping factors (blocks, main-plots, sub-plots). We know that these grouping factors should be appropriately accounted for in data analyses: ‘analyze them as you have randomized them’ is a common saying attributed to Ronald Fisher....

lmDiallel: a new R package to fit diallel models. The Hayman's model (type 1)

Published at November 26, 2020 ·  16 min read

In a previous post we have presented our new ‘lmDiallel’ package (see this link here and see also the original paper in Theoretical and Applied Genetics). This package provides an extensions to fit a class of linear models of interest for plant breeders or geneticists, the so-called diallel models. In this post and other future posts we would like to present some examples of how to use this package: please, sit back and relax and, if you have comments, let us know, using the email link at the bottom of this post....

lmDiallel: a new R package to fit diallel models. Introduction

Published at November 11, 2020 ·  7 min read

Together with some colleagues from the plant breeding group, we have just published a new paper, where we presented a bunch of R functions to analyse the data from diallel experiments. The paper is titled ‘Linear models for diallel crosses: a review with R functions’ and it is published in the ‘Theoretical and Applied Genetics’ Journal. If you are interested, you can take a look here at this link. Diallel experiments are based on a set of possible crosses between some homozygous (inbred) lines....