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Selecting the correct variance–covariance structure for longitudinal data in ecology : a comparison of the Akaike, quasi-information and deviance information criteria

Barnett, Adrian G., Koper, Nicola, Dobson, Annette J., Schmiegelow, Fiona, & Manseau, Micheline (2009) Selecting the correct variance–covariance structure for longitudinal data in ecology : a comparison of the Akaike, quasi-information and deviance information criteria. [Working Paper] (Unpublished)

Abstract

Ecological data sets often use clustered sampling, or use repeated sampling in a longitudinal design. Choosing the correct covariance structure is an important step in the analysis of such data, as the covariance dictates the degree of similarity among repeated observations. Three methods for choosing the covariance are: Akaike’s information criterion (AIC), the quasi-information criterion (QIC), and the deviance information criterion (DIC). We first compared the methods using a simulation study. The overall success was 81.6% for the DIC, 80.6% for the AIC, and 29.4% for the QIC. We then compared the methods using an empirical data set that explored effects of forest fragmentation on avian species richness over 15 years. The AIC and DIC selected the unstructured covariance, whereas the QIC selected a simpler model. Graphical diagnostics suggested that the unstructured covariance was probably correct. We recommend using either the AIC or DIC for estimating the correct covariance structure.

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ID Code: 19195
Item Type: Working Paper
Keywords: DIC, AIC, quasi-information criteria, QIC, generalized estimating equation, deviance information criteria, covariance structure
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES (010000) > STATISTICS (010400) > Applied Statistics (010401)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 [please consult the authors]
Deposited On: 31 Mar 2009 10:10
Last Modified: 11 Aug 2011 03:18

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