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Generalized Linear Mixed Models for Longitudinal Data

DOI: 10.5923/j.ijps.20120103.03

Keywords: Generalized Linear Mixed Models, Logistic Regression, Longitudinal Data, Monte Carlo EM Algorithm, Random Effects Model

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The study of longitudinal data plays a significant role in medicine, epidemiology and social sciences. Typically, the interest is in the dependence of an outcome variable on the covariates. The Generalized Linear Models (GLMs) were proposed to unify the regression approach for a wide variety of discrete and continuous longitudinal data. The responses (outcomes) in longitudinal data are usually correlated. Hence, we need to use an extension of the GLMs that account for such correlation. This can be done by inclusion of random effects in the linear predictor; that is the Generalized Linear Mixed Models (GLMMs) (also called random effects models). The maximum likelihood estimates (MLE) are obtained for the regression parameters of a logit model, when the traditional assumption of normal random effects is relaxed. In this case a more convenient distribution, such as the lognormal distribution, is used. However, adding non-normal random effects to the GLMM considerably complicates the likelihood estimation. So, the direct numerical evaluation techniques (such as Newton - Raphson) become analytically and computationally tedious. To overcome such problems, we propose and develop a Monte Carlo EM (MCEM) algorithm, to obtain the maximum likelihood estimates. The proposed method is illustrated using a simulated data.


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