This report presents the mathematical expressions and the computational techniques required to compute maximum-likelihood estimates for the parameters of the National Descriptive Model of Mercury in Fish (NDMMF), a statistical model used to predict the concentration of methylmercury in fish tissue. The expressions and techniques reported here were prepared to support the development of custom software capable of computing NDMMF parameter estimates more quickly and using less computer memory than is currently possible with available general-purpose statistical software. Computation of maximum-likelihood estimates for the NDMMF by numerical solution of a system of simultaneous equations through repeated Newton-Raphson iterations is described. This report explains the derivation of the mathematical expressions required for computational parameter estimation in sufficient detail to facilitate future derivations for any revised versions of the NDMMF that may be developed.
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USGS Numbered Series
Computing maximum-likelihood estimates for parameters of the National Descriptive Model of Mercury in Fish