A classical approach for the analysis of generalized linear mixed models.
Hammujuddy, M. J.
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Generalized linear mixed models (GLMMs) accommodate the study of overdispersion and correlation inherent in hierarchically structured data. These models are an extension of generalized linear models (GLMs) and linear mixed models (LMMs). The linear predictor of a GLM is extended to include an unobserved, albeit realized, vector of Gaussian distributed random effects. Conditional on these random effects, responses are assumed to be independent. The objective function for parameter estimation is an integrated quasi-likelihood (IQL) function which is often intractable since it may consist of high-dimensional integrals. Therefore, an exact maximum likelihood analysis is not feasible. The penalized quasi-likelihood (PQL) function, derived from a first-order Laplace expansion to the IQL about the optimum value of the random effects and under the assumption of slowly varying weights, is an approximate technique for statistical inference in GLMMs. Replacing the conditional weighted quasi-deviance function in the Laplace-approximated IQL by the generalized chi-squared statistic leads to a corrected profile quasilikelihood function for the restricted maximum likelihood (REML) estimation of dispersion components by Fisher scoring. Evaluation of mean parameters, for fixed dispersion components, by iterative weighted least squares (IWLS) yields joint estimates of fixed effects and random effects. Thus, the PQL criterion involves repeated fitting of a Gaussian LMM with a linked response vector and a conditional iterated weight matrix. In some instances, PQL estimates fail to converge to a neighbourhood of their true values. Bias-corrected PQL estimators (CPQL) have hence been proposed, using asymptotic analysis and simulation. The pseudo-likelihood algorithm is an alternative estimation procedure for GLMMs. Global score statistics for hypothesis testing of overdispersion, correlation and heterogeneity in GLMMs has been developed as well as individual score statistics for testing null dispersion components separately. A conditional mean squared error of prediction (CMSEP) has also been considered as a general measure of predictive uncertainty. Local influence measures for testing the robustness of parameter estimates, by inducing minor perturbations into GLMMs, are recent advances in the study of these models. Commercial statistical software is available for the analysis of GLMMs.