Browsing by Subject "biometria"

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  • Mutshinda Mwanza, Crispin (Helsingin yliopisto, 2010)
    Elucidating the mechanisms responsible for the patterns of species abundance, diversity, and distribution within and across ecological systems is a fundamental research focus in ecology. Species abundance patterns are shaped in a convoluted way by interplays between inter-/intra-specific interactions, environmental forcing, demographic stochasticity, and dispersal. Comprehensive models and suitable inferential and computational tools for teasing out these different factors are quite limited, even though such tools are critically needed to guide the implementation of management and conservation strategies, the efficacy of which rests on a realistic evaluation of the underlying mechanisms. This is even more so in the prevailing context of concerns over climate change progress and its potential impacts on ecosystems. This thesis utilized the flexible hierarchical Bayesian modelling framework in combination with the computer intensive methods known as Markov chain Monte Carlo, to develop methodologies for identifying and evaluating the factors that control the structure and dynamics of ecological communities. These methodologies were used to analyze data from a range of taxa: macro-moths (Lepidoptera), fish, crustaceans, birds, and rodents. Environmental stochasticity emerged as the most important driver of community dynamics, followed by density dependent regulation; the influence of inter-specific interactions on community-level variances was broadly minor. This thesis contributes to the understanding of the mechanisms underlying the structure and dynamics of ecological communities, by showing directly that environmental fluctuations rather than inter-specific competition dominate the dynamics of several systems. This finding emphasizes the need to better understand how species are affected by the environment and acknowledge species differences in their responses to environmental heterogeneity, if we are to effectively model and predict their dynamics (e.g. for management and conservation purposes). The thesis also proposes a model-based approach to integrating the niche and neutral perspectives on community structure and dynamics, making it possible for the relative importance of each category of factors to be evaluated in light of field data.
  • Mäntyniemi, Samu (Helsingin yliopisto, 2006)
    In this thesis the use of the Bayesian approach to statistical inference in fisheries stock assessment is studied. The work was conducted in collaboration of the Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute by using the problem of monitoring and prediction of the juvenile salmon population in the River Tornionjoki as an example application. The River Tornionjoki is the largest salmon river flowing into the Baltic Sea. This thesis tackles the issues of model formulation and model checking as well as computational problems related to Bayesian modelling in the context of fisheries stock assessment. Each article of the thesis provides a novel method either for extracting information from data obtained via a particular type of sampling system or for integrating the information about the fish stock from multiple sources in terms of a population dynamics model. Mark-recapture and removal sampling schemes and a random catch sampling method are covered for the estimation of the population size. In addition, a method for estimating the stock composition of a salmon catch based on DNA samples is also presented. For most of the articles, Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) simulation has been used as a tool to approximate the posterior distribution. Problems arising from the sampling method are also briefly discussed and potential solutions for these problems are proposed. Special emphasis in the discussion is given to the philosophical foundation of the Bayesian approach in the context of fisheries stock assessment. It is argued that the role of subjective prior knowledge needed in practically all parts of a Bayesian model should be recognized and consequently fully utilised in the process of model formulation.
  • Kuparinen, Anna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2007)
    The future use of genetically modified (GM) plants in food, feed and biomass production requires a careful consideration of possible risks related to the unintended spread of trangenes into new habitats. This may occur via introgression of the transgene to conventional genotypes, due to cross-pollination, and via the invasion of GM plants to new habitats. Assessment of possible environmental impacts of GM plants requires estimation of the level of gene flow from a GM population. Furthermore, management measures for reducing gene flow from GM populations are needed in order to prevent possible unwanted effects of transgenes on ecosystems. This work develops modeling tools for estimating gene flow from GM plant populations in boreal environments and for investigating the mechanisms of the gene flow process. To describe spatial dimensions of the gene flow, dispersal models are developed for the local and regional scale spread of pollen grains and seeds, with special emphasis on wind dispersal. This study provides tools for describing cross-pollination between GM and conventional populations and for estimating the levels of transgenic contamination of the conventional crops. For perennial populations, a modeling framework describing the dynamics of plants and genotypes is developed, in order to estimate the gene flow process over a sequence of years. The dispersal of airborne pollen and seeds cannot be easily controlled, and small amounts of these particles are likely to disperse over long distances. Wind dispersal processes are highly stochastic due to variation in atmospheric conditions, so that there may be considerable variation between individual dispersal patterns. This, in turn, is reflected to the large amount of variation in annual levels of cross-pollination between GM and conventional populations. Even though land-use practices have effects on the average levels of cross-pollination between GM and conventional fields, the level of transgenic contamination of a conventional crop remains highly stochastic. The demographic effects of a transgene have impacts on the establishment of trangenic plants amongst conventional genotypes of the same species. If the transgene gives a plant a considerable fitness advantage in comparison to conventional genotypes, the spread of transgenes to conventional population can be strongly increased. In such cases, dominance of the transgene considerably increases gene flow from GM to conventional populations, due to the enhanced fitness of heterozygous hybrids. The fitness of GM plants in conventional populations can be reduced by linking the selectively favoured primary transgene to a disfavoured mitigation transgene. Recombination between these transgenes is a major risk related to this technique, especially because it tends to take place amongst the conventional genotypes and thus promotes the establishment of invasive transgenic plants in conventional populations.
  • Jokinen, Jukka (Helsingin yliopisto, 2007)
    The focus of this study is on statistical analysis of categorical responses, where the response values are dependent of each other. The most typical example of this kind of dependence is when repeated responses have been obtained from the same study unit. For example, in Paper I, the response of interest is the pneumococcal nasopharengyal carriage (yes/no) on 329 children. For each child, the carriage is measured nine times during the first 18 months of life, and thus repeated respones on each child cannot be assumed independent of each other. In the case of the above example, the interest typically lies in the carriage prevalence, and whether different risk factors affect the prevalence. Regression analysis is the established method for studying the effects of risk factors. In order to make correct inferences from the regression model, the associations between repeated responses need to be taken into account. The analysis of repeated categorical responses typically focus on regression modelling. However, further insights can also be gained by investigating the structure of the association. The central theme in this study is on the development of joint regression and association models. The analysis of repeated, or otherwise clustered, categorical responses is computationally difficult. Likelihood-based inference is often feasible only when the number of repeated responses for each study unit is small. In Paper IV, an algorithm is presented, which substantially facilitates maximum likelihood fitting, especially when the number of repeated responses increase. In addition, a notable result arising from this work is the freely available software for likelihood-based estimation of clustered categorical responses.
  • Kantele, Sampo (2008)
    Satunnaistetun käsittelyn vain osittainen noudattaminen, eli huono hoitomyöntyvyys, on yleinen ongelma kliinisissä lääkekokeissa. Ensisijaisena viranomaisvaatimuksena olevalla ITT–tekniikalla ei voida analysoida havaitun käsittelyn ja vasteen välistä vuorovaikutusta luotettavasti, jos lähtötilannemuuttujien, vasteen ja havaitun annoksen välillä on valikoitumismekanismeja. Tässä työssä esitetään ensin kolmannen vaiheen kliinisissä kokeissa esiintyviä annoksen ja vasteen välisen riippuvuusmekanismin arvioimisen ongelmia. Työssä esitellään myös neljä kausaalimallia, jotka mallintavat havaitun annoksen ja vasteen välistä yhteyttä potentiaalisten lopputulosten eli kontrafaktuaalien kautta. Lineaarinen rakenteellinen keskiarvomalli eli SMM on eräs kausaalimallien luokka, joka on lineaarisen sisäkkäisen rakenteellisen keskiarvomallien erikoistapaus. SMM-lähestymistavassa käsittelyvaikutusta arvioidaan havaitun vasteen ja koeyksilön hypoteettisen käsittelyvapaan vasteen erotuksena. Koeyksilön käsittelyvapaan vasteen määrittäminen perustuu satunnaistamisoletukseen sekä plaseboryhmästä saatavaan informaatioon. Työn päätulos on kahden satunnaistamisryhmän lineaarisen rakenteellisen keskiarvomallin laajennus koskemaan useampaa kuin kahta satunnaistamisryhmää. Mallin optimaalisille painofunktioille, kausaaliparametrien estimaateille ja niiden variansseille esitetään suljetut matriisimuodot. Laajennetun mallin ominaisuuksia tutkitaan simulaatiokokeen kautta, vertaamalla saatuja tuloksia kahden satunnaistamisryhmän mallin ominaisuuksiin. Työn soveltavassa osassa laajennetulla mallilla analysoidaan krooniseen sydämen vajaatoimintaan tarkoitetun lääkkeen kehittämisohjelmaan liittyvä todellinen kliinisen kokeen aineisto. Saatuja tuloksia verrataan alkuperäisen sydänlääketutkimuksen ITT-tuloksiin. Johtopäätöksenä todetaan, että laajennettu malli toimii aineistossa hyvin ja antaa samansuuntaiset tulokset kuin alkuperäinen ITT-analyysi, tuoden kuitenkin samalla lisäinformaatiota lääkkeen annosvasteesta.
  • Seppänen, Johanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2008)
    A population-based early detection program for breast cancer has been in progress in Finland since 1987. According to regulations during the study period 1987-2001, free of charge mammography screening was offered every second year to women aged 50-59 years. Recently, the screening service was decided to be extended to age group 50-69. However, the scope of the program is still frequently discussed in public and information about potential impacts of mass-screening practice changes on future breast cancer burden is required. The aim of this doctoral thesis is to present methodologies for taking into account the mass-screening invitation information in breast cancer burden predictions, and to present alternative breast cancer incidence and mortality predictions up to 2012 based on scenarios of the future screening policy. The focus of this work is not on assessing the absolute efficacy but the effectiveness of mass-screening, and, by utilizing the data on invitations, on showing the estimated impacts of changes in an existing screening program on the short-term predictions. The breast cancer mortality predictions are calculated using a model that combines incidence, cause-specific and other cause survival on individual level. The screening invitation data are incorporated into modeling of breast cancer incidence and survival by dividing the program into separate components (first and subsequent rounds and years within them, breaks, and post screening period) and defining a variable that gives the component of the screening program. The incidence is modeled using a Poisson regression approach and the breast cancer survival by applying a parametric mixture cure model, where the patient population is allowed to be a combination of cured and uncured patients. The patients risk to die from other causes than breast cancer is allowed to differ from that of a corresponding general population group and to depend on age and follow-up time. As a result, the effects of separate components of the screening program on incidence, proportion of cured and the survival of the uncured are quantified. According to the predictions, the impacts of policy changes, like extending the program from age group 50-59 to 50-69, are clearly visible on incidence while the effects on mortality in age group 40-74 are minor. Extending the screening service would increase the incidence of localized breast cancers but decrease the rates of non-localized breast cancer. There were no major differences between mortality predictions yielded by alternative future scenarios of the screening policy: Any policy change would have at the most a 3.0% reduction on overall breast cancer mortality compared to continuing the current practice in the near future.