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st: setting initial values for -stcox-

Subject   st: setting initial values for -stcox-
Date   Mon, 31 Mar 2008 09:43:16 -0400

Apologies if this message appears twice.  (I think there was an error on 
my first attempt.)

I'm estimating a Cox proportional hazards model, and am running into 
problems with convergence.  The loglikelihood maximization spits out the 

Iteration 279: log pseudolikelihood = -201462.74  (backed up)
Iteration 280: log pseudolikelihood =  -201462.9  (backed up)
Iteration 281: log pseudolikelihood = -201464.99  (backed up)
flat region resulting in a missing likelihood

end of do-file

I'd like to set a starting value different from the default value, to see 
whether that helps.  Apparently, -stcox- doesn't allow you to use the 
-from()- option.  I'm currently trying something like

matrix b0 = <initial value>
stset time, id(groupid)  failure(patientdies);
stcox rhsvar1 rhsvar2 rhsvar3, cluster(groupid) from(b0,copy);

Does anyone know of a better solution?  Thanks in advance.
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