Goulburn 29

The weather in Goulburn for these 4-monthly meetings always seems to be extreme, and for the meeting on 26 November it was blowing a gale all day. Whatever the weather though, the quality of talks is always high, and here are some brief notes on the most recent offerings.

Janice Scealy spoke on “A directional mixed effects model for compositional expenditure data”. Even though the example she chose was about as simple as they come – three categories of household expenditure – it was a complex journey she took us on through square root transformations and Kent distributions to final parameter estimates on the raw scale.

James Brown asked “Can we use the approaches of ecological inference to learn about the potential for dependence bias in dual-system estimation? An application to cancer registration data.” This nice piece of work-in-progress concerned the use of multiple lists to estimate population size when key pieces of information were still unavailable.

Chong You of the University of Wollongong spoke on “Variational Bayes estimation and model selection for linear regression using spike and slab priors”. Despite my recent foray into Bayesian methods for a course I taught to Graduate Certificate students, this was the talk on least familiar ground to me.

Pavel Krivitsky also of the University of Wollongong spoke on “Modelling of dynamic networks based on egocentrically-sampled data”. He has spoken about aspects of this type of data several times and I think I’m starting to get the hang of it. The main application is to the study of sexual partnerships in human populations.

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