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[ITRDBFOR] Re: Bug (and fix) in negative exponential detrending in dplR

Chronological Thread 
  • From: Andy Bunn <Andy.Bunn AT>
  • To: ITRDB Forum <itrdbfor AT>
  • Cc: Jacob Cecile <jacobcecile AT>, Mikko Korpela <mikko.korpela AT>
  • Subject: [ITRDBFOR] Re: Bug (and fix) in negative exponential detrending in dplR
  • Date: Tue, 26 Nov 2013 22:16:55 +0000
  • Accept-language: en-US

Thanks for the report Jacob! This is a legitimate bug and your proposed
solution is a great start – the question of when to apply constraints on the
coefficients of the negative exponential function needs a bit of thought. We
will work on a fix that will likely involve a new argument to
detrend.series() as well as a warning that will alert the user when the nls()
model coefficients produce this behavior. Regardless, there will be a fix in
the next version of dplR. I expect we’ll have a patch in the development
version within a few days. Instructions for using a daily snapshot of the
development version are available here:

Yours in R,

From: Jacob Cecile
<jacobcecile AT<mailto:jacobcecile AT>>
Date: Monday, November 25, 2013 at 12:18 PM
To: ITRDB Forum
<itrdbfor AT<mailto:itrdbfor AT>>
Cc: Andy Bunn
<andy.bunn AT<mailto:andy.bunn AT>>
Subject: Bug (and fix) in negative exponential detrending in dplR

One of the students in our lab noticed that negative exponential detrending
(using detrend.series in dplR) was producing nonsensical negative values for
RWI for some series. In this case, RWI was produced by division so negative
values should be entirely impossible.

Turns out that detrend.series() allows negative values for the intercept term
in the modified negative exponential fit, producing negative values of the
detrending curve (and thus RWI). You can add bounds to nls() pretty easily if
you switch the optimization algorithm to "port", which solves the problem

Graphs of the problem before and after the problem are attached. If you want
to replicate the issue / patch dplR, you can find the problem series and all
the code needed to fix and reproduce the problem at

Jacob Cecile

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