February 18, 2020
ASReML in Practice
Arthur Gilmour obtained his B Sc Agr from Sydney University majoring in Biometry in 1970 with a NSW Government traineeship. He then served as a biometrician until his retirement from NSW Agriculture as a Principal Research Scientist in 2009. From the outset, he was involved in software development to meet the current statistical analysis needs of his clients and colleagues. He obtained his PhD in animal breeding from Massey University in 1983 during which time he came into contact with Robin Thompson. This led to a collaboration, also involving Brian Cullis, resulting in the development of ASReml in 1996. He continues to support and develop ASReml and is in regular contact with Robin.
The (hierarchal generalized) linear (mixed) model has proved a very useful tool for data analysis, especially in the contexts of plant and animal breeding, agricultural experimentation and data exploration. After 50 years using these models, some issues continue to arise. I plan to outline recent improvements to ASReml and my somewhat pragmatic approach to some of the perennial issues including: testing fixed effects, fixed or random, alternative random models, dropping model terms and other model simplifications.