[R] Decomposing tests of interaction terms in mixed-effects models
Andrew Robinson
A.Robinson at ms.unimelb.edu.au
Mon Aug 4 08:32:14 CEST 2008
Dear R colleagues,
a friend and I are trying to develop a modest workflow for the problem
of decomposing tests of higher-order terms into interpretable sets of
tests of lower order terms with conditioning.
For example, if the interaction between A (3 levels) and C (2 levels)
is significant, it may be of interest to ask whether or not A is
significant at level 1 of C and level 2 of C.
The textbook response seems to be to subset the data and perform the
tests on the two subsets, but using the RSS and DF from the original
fit.
We're trying to answer the question using new explanatory variables.
This approach (seems to) work just fine in aov, but not lme.
For example,
##########################################################################
# Build the example dataset
set.seed(101)
Block <- gl(6, 6, 36, lab = paste("B", 1:6, sep = ""))
A <- gl(3, 2, 36, lab = paste("A", 1:3, sep = ""))
C <- gl(2, 1, 36, lab = paste("C", 1:2, sep = ""))
example <- data.frame(Block, A, C)
example$Y <- rnorm(36)*2 + as.numeric(example$A)*as.numeric(example$C)^2 +
3 * rep(rnorm(6), each=6)
with(example, interaction.plot(A, C, Y))
# lme
require(nlme)
anova(lme(Y~A*C, random = ~1|Block, data = example))
summary(aov(Y ~ Error(Block) + A*C, data = example))
# Significant 2-way interaction. Now we would like to test the effect
# of A at C1 and the effect of A at C2. Construct two new variables
# that decompose the interaction, so an LRT is possible.
example$AC <- example$AC1 <- example$AC2 <- interaction(example$A, example$C)
example$AC1[example$C == "C1"] <- "A1.C1" # A is constant at C1
example$AC2[example$C == "C2"] <- "A1.C2" # A is constant at C2
# lme fails (as does lmer)
lme(Y ~ AC1 + AC, random = ~ 1 | Block, data = example)
# but aov seems just fine.
summary(aov(Y ~ Error(Block) + AC1 + AC, data = example))
## AC was not significant, so A is not significant at C1
summary(aov(Y ~ Error(Block) + AC2 + AC, data = example))
## AC was significant, so A is significant at C2
## Some experimentation suggests that lme doesn't like the 'partial
## confounding' approach that we are using, rather than the variables
## that we have constructed.
lme(Y ~ AC, random = ~ 1 | Block, data = example)
lme(Y ~ A + AC, random = ~ 1 | Block, data = example)
##########################################################################
Are we doing anything obviously wrong? Is there another approach to
the goal that we are trying to achieve?
Many thanks,
Andrew
--
Andrew Robinson
Department of Mathematics and Statistics Tel: +61-3-8344-6410
University of Melbourne, VIC 3010 Australia Fax: +61-3-8344-4599
http://www.ms.unimelb.edu.au/~andrewpr
http://blogs.mbs.edu/fishing-in-the-bay/
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