Parameterization effects in nonlinear models to describe growth curves

Tales Jesus Fernandes, Joel Augusto Muniz, Adriele Aparecida Pereira, Fabiana Rezende Muniz, Carlos Alberto Muianga


Various parameterizations of nonlinear models are common in the literature.In addition to complicating the understanding of these models, these parameterizations affect the nonlinearity measures and subsequently the inferences about the parameters. Bates and Watts (1980) quantified model nonlinearity using the geometric concept of curvature. Here we aimed to evaluate the three most common parameterizations of the Logistic and Gompertz nonlinear models with a focus on their nonlinearity and how this might affect inferences, and to establish relations between the parameters under the various expressions of the models. All parameterizations were adjusted to the growth data from pequi fruit. The intrinsic and parametric curvature described by Bates and Watts were calculated for each parameter. The choice of parameterization affects the nonlinearity measures, thus influencing the reliability and inferences about the estimated parameters. The most used methodologies presented the highest distance from linearity, showing the importance of analyzing these measures in any growth curve study. We propose that the parameterization in which the estimate of B is the abscissa of the inflection point should be used because of the lower deviations from linearity and direct biological interpretation for all parameters.



biological interpretation; Gompertz model; logistic model; measures of curvature; nonlinearity.

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ISSN 1806-2563 (impresso) e ISSN 1807-8664 (on-line) e-mail:


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