Re: [R] maximum likelihood estimation of 5 parameters

From: Ingmar Visser <>
Date: Fri 05 Jan 2007 - 13:57:45 GMT

You can provide lower and upper bounds on the parameters if you use optim with method="L-BFGS-B".
Hth, Ingmar

> From: francogrex <>
> Date: Fri, 5 Jan 2007 04:54:50 -0800 (PST)
> To: <>
> Subject: [R] maximum likelihood estimation of 5 parameters
Hi Guys, it would be great if you could help me with a MLE problem in R.

> am trying to evaluate the maximum likelihood estimates of theta = (a1,
> a2, b2, P) which defines a mixture of a Poisson distribution and two
> prior distributions (where the Poisson means have a gamma
> actually 2 gammas and P is the mixing factor). The likelihood
function for
> theta is L(theta) = Pi,j{P f(Nij; a1, b1, Eij) + (1 P) f(Nij;
a2, b2, Eij),}

The maximum likelihood estimate of theta is the vector that maximizes
> the

above equation (the values of N and E are given). The authors of the
> article

I read say that the maximization involves an iterative search in the
> five

dimensional parameter space, where each iteration involves
> computing

log[L(theta)] and its first and second-order derivatives. In test
> runs it is

suggested that the maximization typically takes between 5 and 15
> iterations

from the starting point theta = (a1 = 0.2, b1 = 0.1, a2 = 2, b2 =
> 4, P =


Now I have done maximization of a gamma-poisson mixture before
> (1 poisson, 1

gamma) successfully and I could determine correctly alpha (a)
> and beta(a).

But this one above is giving me ridiculously large unusable
> values (for

example P should not be above 1 and sometimes I get values of
> 500!) or even

negative values! I know the values I should be obtaining with my
> samples

shouldn't be far from the staring points. Is there a way to help me
> solve

this issue? Thanks.

View this message in context:

> html#a8177473
Sent from the R help mailing list archive at
______________________________________________ R-help@stat.math.e
> mailing list PLEASE do
> read the posting guide
and provide
> commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.
______________________________________________ mailing list PLEASE do read the posting guide and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.
Received on Sat Jan 06 01:05:22 2007

Archive maintained by Robert King, hosted by the discipline of statistics at the University of Newcastle, Australia.
Archive generated by hypermail 2.1.8, at Fri 05 Jan 2007 - 16:30:26 GMT.

Mailing list information is available at Please read the posting guide before posting to the list.