# Thread: Alternatives for Non-normality and Inequality of Variance?

1. ## Alternatives for Non-normality and Inequality of Variance?

I've been working with a rather difficult data set for over a week with no real progress. I am trying to compare the effect of temperature (15, 20, 25, 28, 30 degrees) on development time. The problem is the data is very non-normal and the variance unequal despite many transformations. What I have observed is as temperature decreases the variance increases quite substantially. For example, at 30 degrees the organism basically develops at 7 or 8 days but at 15 degrees the range of development can be 22-28 days ect. I've looked at running Kruskall-Wallis, Welsh ANOVA, but am still too concerned with the assumptions. Any advice? Here is my SAS Code if anyone wants to see what the issues are. Thanks!

data dev1;
input id duration temp;
datalines;
1 8 30
2 8 30
3 8 30
4 8 30
5 7 30
6 8 30
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;

proc univariate data=dev1 NORMALTEST;
class temp;
var duration;
run;
quit;

proc glm data=dev1;
class temp;
model duration=temp;
means temp / hovtest welch;
run;
quit;

2. ## Re: Alternatives for Non-normality and Inequality of Variance?

hi,
it is nice that you showed us the data! The first, obvious, question is about the goal of the analysis: do you just want to prove the relationship between temp and duration or do you want to build a predictive model?

Second: there seem to be two issues with your data : if this is in time order then you have a strong grouping (high temps only in a short period) and you can not exclude any confounding factors, like something else besides temps being also different at the time of the measurement. Also you have a large gap in the temperatures between about 15 and 22. Obviously for predictions this will be problematic.

If you only want a generic proof that higher temps are linked to lower durations, you could for instance group the temperatures in 3 classes - High, Med, Low and run an ANOVA or some non-parametric variant (like Kruskal-Wallis). You have enough data so that the lower power of the non-parametric test will not matter, the effect is also quite clear.

If you want predictions you should take care of that gap first IMO.

regards

3. ## Re: Alternatives for Non-normality and Inequality of Variance?

Originally Posted by rogojel
hi,
it is nice that you showed us the data! The first, obvious, question is about the goal of the analysis: do you just want to prove the relationship between temp and duration or do you want to build a predictive model?

Second: there seem to be two issues with your data : if this is in time order then you have a strong grouping (high temps only in a short period) and you can not exclude any confounding factors, like something else besides temps being also different at the time of the measurement. Also you have a large gap in the temperatures between about 15 and 22. Obviously for predictions this will be problematic.

If you only want a generic proof that higher temps are linked to lower durations, you could for instance group the temperatures in 3 classes - High, Med, Low and run an ANOVA or some non-parametric variant (like Kruskal-Wallis). You have enough data so that the lower power of the non-parametric test will not matter, the effect is also quite clear.

If you want predictions you should take care of that gap first IMO.

regards
I was fitting a nonlinear model (Lactin/Beriere) to describe the relationship between temperature and developmental rate, hence the clustering of high temperatures to capture the peak of the curve. With this analysis I posted simply want to show a development time difference at each temperature through some sort of multiple comparison test (Dunn's/Games Howell) but I cant run any ANOVA/KW/Welsh test due to data assumptions

4. ## Re: Alternatives for Non-normality and Inequality of Variance?

Which assumptions are invalidated for a Kruskal-Wallis or a Mann-Whitney U test?

5. ## Re: Alternatives for Non-normality and Inequality of Variance?

Originally Posted by rogojel
Which assumptions are invalidated for a Kruskal-Wallis or a Mann-Whitney U test?
For KW, data variance very unequal and no transformations come close to equality. Again, Mann Whitney test also assumes homogeneity of variances.

6. ## Re: Alternatives for Non-normality and Inequality of Variance?

Well, strictly seen you are right. How about a simple permutation test?
regards

7. ## Re: Alternatives for Non-normality and Inequality of Variance?

Non-normality is not a major issue when you have at least 30 data points because of the central limit theorem (some say 40 others higher). You can transform the data (box cox transformations are sometimes useful) to make it normal if you like or run a non-parametric test. If you mean heteroscedastcity you can do transformations, you can do WLS (if you know the source of the problem) or you can use a robust SE (I think White is recommended).

Neither of these effect the point estimate only the statistical test. I do not think you can split the data into three levels of the dependent variable and run ANOVA which requires a linear DV. You could use ordinal or multinomial logistic regression for that.

8. ## Re: Alternatives for Non-normality and Inequality of Variance?

You can also transform your response variable (i.e., duration). Using Minitab, I used a Box-Cox transform on the response, then analyzed the results using a 1 way ANOVA followed by a Tukey post-hoc test. The transform corrected the heteroskedacity issue in the residuals. You can also repeat the analysis using regression on the transformed response.

9. ## The Following User Says Thank You to Miner For This Useful Post:

noetsi (03-20-2017)

10. ## Re: Alternatives for Non-normality and Inequality of Variance?

How did you decide what the correct transformation in box cox was miner? This is the element of box cox that always confuses me.

11. ## Re: Alternatives for Non-normality and Inequality of Variance?

Minitab allows you to set lambda at 0 (natural log), 0.5 (square root), any value between -5 and 5, or allow Minitab to find an optimal value.

I started with Tukey's "Ladder of Powers" and Tukey and Mosteller's "Bulge Rules", focusing on transforming the response in order to correct for heteroskedacity, but could not find a standard power transform that worked. Then I tried the Box-Cox and allowed Minitab to search for an optimal lambda, which worked.

12. ## The Following User Says Thank You to Miner For This Useful Post:

noetsi (03-20-2017)

13. ## Re: Alternatives for Non-normality and Inequality of Variance?

Ok, letting it find the optimal value was what I wanted to know. I wonder which algorithm it uses to do that.

14. ## Re: Alternatives for Non-normality and Inequality of Variance?

I attached the information in Minitab Help.

15. ## The Following User Says Thank You to Miner For This Useful Post:

noetsi (03-20-2017)

16. ## Re: Alternatives for Non-normality and Inequality of Variance?

Here is the Box-Cox optimal transform for the Duration response.

17. ## The Following User Says Thank You to Miner For This Useful Post:

nebulus (03-21-2017)

18. ## Re: Alternatives for Non-normality and Inequality of Variance?

Originally Posted by Miner
Here is the Box-Cox optimal transform for the Duration response.
Interesting. I had tried to do a Box-Cox transformation in SAS prior to posting my question here and it suggested Lambda = -1 (i.e. the reciprocal transformation), which is essentially using developmental rate (1/d) rather than time. I tried that transformation and it did not help heteroskedacity. Since that is not a standard power transformation like you suggested I will use Minitab and see if I get the same results you reached. Thank you very much, this will definitely help me in the future.

Edit* What p-value did you get for the variance test you used? After transforming the data and using Levene's Test I got an F=2.75 and p=0.02 This is much better than any transformation I ever did but still not non-significant. I tried other values proposed in that range and X^0.33 seemed to be best with p-value of 0.0327.

19. ## Re: Alternatives for Non-normality and Inequality of Variance?

Originally Posted by noetsi
Non-normality is not a major issue when you have at least 30 data points because of the central limit theorem (some say 40 others higher).
Just wanted to add that in cases of more than two groups in an ANOVA, for example, the CLT can't apply at any sample size, so you will always need the two assumptions of normally distributed DV among the groups and a common variance for the groups. Good points, though!