Vision No. 8 June 2008

GenStat 11th Edition now available

[GenStat 11th Edition]

We’re delighted to announce the release of the 11th Edition of GenStat, proving once again that GenStat is still at the forefront of statistical computing. As the choice for bioscientists around the world, GenStat 11 boasts increased statistical and mathematical modelling capabilities with the inclusion of the NAG routines.

New statistical facilities include canonical correspondence analysis, factor analysis and a new design algorithm to form optimal factorial and fractional designs. Existing facilities have been extended too, for example to provide multinomial regression, robust variogram estimates and least significant differences between REML means. There is a full list of the new features on our website.

Existing supported users can upgrade via our website now and a CD will be sent to the software site representative within 2-3 weeks. For information on upgrading to a supported license please email support .

Why not download and trial a free copy of GenStat 11th Edition.

New website launched

[new website]

Phase 3 of the VSNi website is here.The driving aim behind this new phase is to be relevant content, we want to make the site an invaluable resource for GenStat users, and you can help. Take a look to see how you can get involved .

Technical tip – User Support

Trouble viewing your help files?

If you are running GenStat from a network server sometimes help pages may not display correctly within the GenStat help system. Instead of the help page an error message saying that the page cannot be found is displayed. This is a known Microsoft security problem and can be easily rectified by altering settings on the local client PC. The Microsoft knowledge base article no. 896054 provides a full description of the problem and a solution for how to configure the local PC to display the help pages.

Out and about with VSNi

Preparations for the 2008 European GenStat Applied Statistics Conference are well under way. The conference is being held at the Agri-Foods and Bioscience Institute (AFBI) in Belfast on Monday 21st July. The conference will focus on developments in the theory and practice of statistics in the context of GenStat. The programme covers a wide range of application areas as well as the development of new methodology. The key themes of the conference are:

  • New statistical methodology in GenStat
  • Statistical applications and consultancy
  • Visualization and graphics

This event provides an excellent opportunity for statistics users with varied backgrounds to share experiences and to explore applications and advances in statistics. It will also bring current and potential users into direct contact with the developers of GenStat from VSN International, and enable them to influence future developments. The conference is followed immediately by a workshop on Advanced Linear Models, also to be held at AFBI on 22nd July 2008, the topics covered include:

  • Extensions to generalized linear models such as GLMMs and HGLMs
  • REML modelling of spatial and temporal variation
  • New methods for design and sample-size calculation

To find out more about the events VSNi are attending in 2008 visit our website.

Agronomix are running an AGROBASE Generation II training course at the University of the Free State, Bloemfontaine, South Africa from 25-29th August. Click here to find out more about this event.

If you are involved in organising an event which may be of interest to VSNi and our users please let us know by emailing us.

Royal Statistical Society

On 3rd April the Royal Statistical Society’s Statistical Computing Section held a half-day meeting on Hierarchical Generalized Linear Models (a GenStat speciality!). John Nelder introduced the session with an overview of the theory.

[John Nelder]

Then our own Roger Payne showed their implementation (in GenStat), and explained his extension to Hierarchical Generalized Nonlinear Models.

[Roger Payne]He also ran through some examples to show their use in practice. Finally Mike Kenward of London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine talked about his collaboration with Youngjo Lee and colleagues on the use of hierarchical likelihood for missing data problems.

If you would like to know more, Roger and Youngjo will be presenting a short course on HGLMs at University College Dublin on 13th July, before the International Biometric Conference there.

Or you can look here to see Roger’s slides.

Latest training courses

Having invested in the best in data analysis, it’s vital that our users know how to make the most of the functionality in our products. With this in mind we are continually developing our training programme to cover both guidance on our software and statistical topics; these now include an Introduction to GenStat, Advanced Course for GenStat, ANOVA and Linear Modelling. In addition VSNi offer bespoke training to cover areas which our existing courses do not include. These courses are often designed around your actual data, helping to provide additional insight to the use of GenStat in your organisation and can be held either in our training rooms or onsite. One such example of this is a recent course held at Rothamsted for Rothamsted International fellows on GenStat Discovery:

“The course went very smoothly and the Fellows were all very appreciative and full of praise. Darren (Murray) did a really good job at getting them to practice tasks rather than just talk to them and this went down very well.”

[Rothamsted International Fellows GenStat Discovery Course]

As a part of the continued update and development of our courses, please let us know if you have any suggestions or topics for future training.

Planned training dates for later this year include an ASREML course on 23-24 September by Dr Arthur Gilmour, consisting of an Introduction to Mixed Models and ASReml, and on the second day Genetic Analyses in ASReml for plants and animals. Participants are encouraged to bring their own examples, which can be sent direct to Dr Gilmour a month before the workshop for preparation. A similar workshop will also be taking place in Buenos Aires, Argentina 9-12 September to include the following areas:

  • Introduction to Mixed Models
  • Introduction to ASReml
  • Spatial Analysis Theory and Practise
  • Start OWN analyses
  • Factor Analytic Model
  • Repeated Measures
  • Multi Environment trials
  • Basic QTL Theory and practise
  • Completion of own analyses

Following the announcement of the opening of our Australian office in March, we’re delighted to announce the latest training courses being run in that region; details can be found on the website.

An applied workshop on Mixed Models for Plant Improvement using ASREML and R is planned for 2-5th November 2008, at the University of Western Australia, Perth. The workshop will present advanced statistical methods for the design and analysis of data arising from plant improvement programmes. Topics will include the design and analysis of single/multi environment and single/multi-phase experiments. Methods will also be presented for the integration of molecular marker and pedigree information into the analysis (and design) of these experiments.


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