Blog Archives

Uncertainty in parameter estimates using multilevel models

August 3, 2013
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David Hsu writes: I have a (perhaps) simple question about uncertainty in parameter estimates using multilevel models — what is an appropriate threshold for measure parameter uncertainty in a multilevel model? The reason why I ask is that I set out to do a crossed two-way model with two varying intercepts, similar to your flight The post Uncertainty...

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A Chart of Recent Comrades Marathon Winners

July 30, 2013
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A Chart of Recent Comrades Marathon Winners

Continuing on my quest to document the Comrades Marathon results, today I have put together a chart showing the winners of both the men and ladies races since 1980. Click on the image below to see a larger version. The analysis started off with the same data set that I was working with before, from

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Comrades Marathon Inference Trees

July 19, 2013
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Comrades Marathon Inference Trees

Following up on my previous posts regarding the results of the Comrades Marathon, I was planning on putting together a set of models which would predict likelihood to finish and probable finishing time. Along the way I got distracted by something else that is just as interesting and which produces results which readily yield to qualitative

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Optimising a Noisy Objective Function

July 16, 2013
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Optimising a Noisy Objective Function

I am busy with a project where I need to calibrate the Heston Model to some Asian options data. The model has been implemented as a function which executes a Monte Carlo (MC) simulation. As a result, the objective function is rather noisy. There are a number of algorithms for dealing with this sort of problem, and

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Priors

July 16, 2013
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Nick Firoozye writes: While I am absolutely sympathetic to the Bayesian agenda I am often troubled by the requirement of having priors. We must have priors on the parameter of an infinite number of model we have never seen before and I find this troubling. There is a similarly troubling problem in economics of utility The post Priors...

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Please send all comments to /dev/ripley

July 10, 2013
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Please send all comments to /dev/ripley

Trey Causey asks, Has R-help gotten meaner over time?: I began by using Scrapy to download all the e-mails sent to R-help between April 1997 (the earliest available archive) and December 2012. . . . We each read 500 messages and coded them in the following categories: -2 Negative and unhelpful -1 Negative but helpful The post Please...

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R sucks

June 29, 2013
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I was trying to make some new graphs using 5-year-old R code and I got all these problems because I was reading in files with variable names such as “co.fipsid” and now R is automatically changing them to “co_fipsid”. Or maybe the names had underbars all along, and the old R had changed them into The post R...

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Are Green Number Runners More Likely to Bail?

June 22, 2013
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Are Green Number Runners More Likely to Bail?

Comrades Marathon runners are awarded a permanent green race number once they have completed 10 journeys between Durban and Pietermaritzburg. For many runners, once they have completed the race a few times, achieving a green number becomes a possibility. And once the idea takes hold, it can become something of a compulsion. I can testify

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Job openings at conservative political analytics firm!

June 21, 2013
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Job openings at conservative political analytics firm!

After posting that announcement about Civis Analytics, I wrote, “If a reconstituted Romney Analytics team is hiring, let me know and I’ll post that ad too.” Adam Schaeffer obliged: Not sure about Romney’s team, but Evolving Strategies is looking for sharp folks who lean right: Evolving Strategies is a political communications research firm specializing in The post Job...

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The Green Number Effect

June 18, 2013
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The Green Number Effect

Following up on a suggestion from my previous post, here are the statistics for medal count versus age. Every point on the plot is the number (see colour legend on right) of athletes who have achieved a given number of medals by a particular age. There is clear evidence of a Green Number Effect: many

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