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Application of Bootstrap Methods to Reduced Major Axis Line Fitting

Roy E. Plotnick
Systematic Zoology
Vol. 38, No. 2 (Jun., 1989), pp. 144-153
DOI: 10.2307/2992383
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2992383
Page Count: 10
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Application of Bootstrap Methods to Reduced Major Axis Line Fitting
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Abstract

The bootstrap method developed by Efron allows the estimation of measures of statistical accuracy, such as the standard errors and confidence limits, in cases where the underlying distribution is unknown or where sample sizes are small. This is frequently the case for statistics and data sets of systematic interest, especially in paleontology. The utility of the bootstrap is demonstrated for the reduced major axis (RMA) method for fitting the allometric equation. The results are in good agreement with statistical properties determined by available analytical methods and are superior to many of these methods in capturing the detailed distribution of the parameters. The bootstrap also allows the simultaneous comparison of slope and intercept estimates between taxa. Bootstrap methods should be a valuable tool in morphometrics.

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