[Rd] incorrect usage of glmer crashes R (PR#12375)

maechler at stat.math.ethz.ch maechler at stat.math.ethz.ch
Fri Aug 8 20:15:14 CEST 2008

This is about package 'lme4' and strictly speaking would not
belong to R-bugs.

But you have reported a bug indeed; thank you.

>>>>> "s" == susscorfa  <susscorfa at zonnet.nl>
>>>>>     on Thu,  7 Aug 2008 12:20:41 +0200 (CEST) writes:

    s> Full_Name: susscorfa Version: 2.7.1 OS: ubuntu Submission
    s> from: (NULL) (

    s> Incorrect implementation of the grouping variable in the
    s> function glmer crashes R

{the correct term is "segmentation fault" or "segfault"}

    s> a small example:

    s> require(lme4); 
    s> a<-data.frame(b=rpois(1000,10), c=gl(20,50), d=rnorm(1000,3), e=rnorm(1000,5),
    s> f=rnorm(1000,2)+5);  
    s> glmer(b~d+f|c+(e), family=poisson, data=a)

Yes, indeed this segfaults;  similarly for lmer().

The development version of the 'lme4' package (on R-forge) no
longer does so since a few minutes ago.

    s> It crashes R on debian linux (2 independant systems) as well as windows

    s> The correct function usage is:
    s> glmer(b~d+f+(e|c), family=poisson, data=a)

    s> I suppose it should just eveluate as wrong usage of a
    s> function but should not crash R

Yes, it now gives an error message about the incorrect

Martin Maechler, ETH Zurich

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