Annals of Applied Statistics

A new class of flexible link functions with application to species co-occurrence in cape floristic region

Xun Jiang, Dipak K. Dey, Rachel Prunier, Adam M. Wilson, and Kent E. Holsinger

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Understanding the mechanisms that allow biological species to co-occur is of great interest to ecologists. Here we investigate the factors that influence co-occurrence of members of the genus Protea in the Cape Floristic Region of southwestern Africa, a global hot spot of biodiversity. Due to the binomial nature of our response, a critical issue is to choose appropriate link functions for the regression model. In this paper we propose a new family of flexible link functions for modeling binomial response data. By introducing a power parameter into the cumulative distribution function (c.d.f.) corresponding to a symmetric link function and its mirror reflection, greater flexibility in skewness can be achieved in both positive and negative directions. Through simulated data sets and analysis of the Protea co-occurrence data, we show that the proposed link function is quite flexible and performs better against link misspecification than standard link functions.

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Ann. Appl. Stat., Volume 7, Number 4 (2013), 2180-2204.

First available in Project Euclid: 23 December 2013

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Bayesian method community ecology generalized linear model MCMC model selection symmetric power link function


Jiang, Xun; Dey, Dipak K.; Prunier, Rachel; Wilson, Adam M.; Holsinger, Kent E. A new class of flexible link functions with application to species co-occurrence in cape floristic region. Ann. Appl. Stat. 7 (2013), no. 4, 2180--2204. doi:10.1214/13-AOAS663.

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