Document Server@UHasselt >
Research >
Research publications >

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/21196

Title: Modeling strategies for complex hierarchical and overdispersed data in the life sciences
Advisors: MOLENBERGHS, Geert
Issue Date: 2014
Abstract: In this work, we study the so-called combined models, generalized linear mixed models with extension to allow for overdispersion, in the context of genetics and breeding. Such flexible models accommodates cluster-induced correlation and overdispersion through two separate sets of random effects and contain as special cases the generalized linear mixed models (GLMM) on the one hand, and commonly known overdispersion models on the other. We use such models while obtaining heritability coefficients for non-Gaussian characters. Heritability is one of the many important concepts that are often quantified upon fitting a model to hierarchical data. It is often of importance in plant and animal breeding. Knowledge of this attribute is useful to quantify the magnitude of improvement in the population. For data where linear models can be used, this attribute is conveniently defined as a ratio of variance components. Matters are less simple for non-Gaussian outcomes. The focus is on time-to-event and count traits, where the Weibull-Gamma-Normal and Poisson-Gamma-Normal models are used. The resulting expressions are sufficiently simple and appealing, in particular in special cases, to be of practical value. The proposed methodologies are illustrated using data from animal and plant breeding. Furthermore, attention is given to the occurrence of negative estimates of variance components in the Poisson-Gamma-Normal model. The occurrence of negative variance components in linear mixed models (LMM) has received a certain amount of attention in the literature whereas almost no work has been done for GLMM. This phenomenon can be confusing at first sight because, by definition, variances themselves are non-negative quantities. However, this is a well understood phenomenon in the context of linear mixed modeling, where one will have to make a choice between a hierarchical and a marginal view. The variance components of the combined model for count outcomes are studied theoretically and the plant breeding study used as illustration underscores that this phenomenon can be common in applied research. We also call attention to the performance of different estimation methods, because not all available methods are capable of extending the parameter space of the variance components. Then, when there is a need for inference on such components and they are expected to be negative, the accuracy of the method is not the only characteristic to be considered.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/21196
Category: T1
Type: Theses and Dissertations
Appears in Collections: PhD theses
Research publications

Files in This Item:

Description SizeFormat
N/A720.38 kBAdobe PDF

Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.