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Model selection versus traditional hypothesis testing in circular statistics: a simulation study

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Lukas Landler, Graeme D. Ruxton, E. Pascal Malkemper

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Many studies in biology involve data measured on a circular scale. Such data require different statistical treatment from those measured on linear scales. The most common statistical exploration of circular data involves testing the null hypothesis that the data show no aggregation and are instead uniformly distributed over the whole circle. The most common means of performing this type of investigation is with a Rayleigh test. An alternative might be to compare the fit of the uniform distribution model to alternative models. Such model-fitting approaches have become a standard technique with linear data, and their greater application to circular data has been recently advocated. Here we present simulation data that demonstrate that such model-based inference can offer very similar performance to the best traditional tests, but only if adjustment is made in order to control type I error rate.



Original languageEnglish
Article numberbio049866
JournalBiology Open
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jun 2020

    Research areas

  • AIC, Circular statistics, Hermans-Rasson test, Rayleigh test

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