Evaluation of a Bayesian MCMC Random Effects Inference Methodology for Capture-Mark-Recapture Data

White, Gary C.; Burnham, Kenneth P.; Barker, Richard J. (2009). Evaluation of a Bayesian MCMC Random Effects Inference Methodology for Capture-Mark-Recapture Data. In: Thomson, David L; Cooch, Evan G; Conroy, Michael J (eds.) Modeling Demographic Processes in Marked Populations. Environmental and Ecological Statistics: Vol. 3 (pp. 1119-1127). Berlin-Heidelberg: Springer 10.1007/978-0-387-78151-8_53

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Monte Carlo simulation was used to evaluate properties of a simple Bayesian MCMC analysis of the random effects model for single group Cormack-Jolly-Seber capture-recapture data. The MCMC method is applied to the model via a logit link, so parameters p, S are on a logit scale, where logit(S) is assumed to have, and is generated from, a normal distribution with mean μ and variance σ2 . Marginal prior distributions on logit(p) and μ were independent normal with mean zero and standard deviation 1.75 for logit(p) and 100 for μ ; hence minimally informative. Marginal prior distribution on σ2 was placed on τ2=1/σ2 as a gamma distribution with α=β=0.001 . The study design has 432 points spread over 5 factors: occasions (t) , new releases per occasion (u), p, μ , and σ . At each design point 100 independent trials were completed (hence 43,200 trials in total), each with sample size n=10,000 from the parameter posterior distribution. At 128 of these design points comparisons are made to previously reported results from a method of moments procedure. We looked at properties of point and interval inference on μ , and σ based on the posterior mean, median, and mode and equal-tailed 95% credibility interval. Bayesian inference did very well for the parameter μ , but under the conditions used here, MCMC inference performance for σ was mixed: poor for sparse data (i.e., only 7 occasions) or σ=0 , but good when there were sufficient data and not small σ .

Item Type:

Book Section (Book Chapter)


08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Ecology and Evolution (IEE) > Conservation Biology






Environmental and Ecological Statistics






Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 15:21

Last Modified:

04 Apr 2014 00:15

Publisher DOI:


Web of Science ID:



https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/36749 (FactScience: 206000)

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