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Re: st: Alternative uses of -nl

From   "Brian P. Poi" <>
Subject   Re: st: Alternative uses of -nl
Date   Tue, 18 Nov 2008 10:42:41 -0600 (CST)

On Tue, 18 Nov 2008, Paulo Regis wrote:

Dear all,

Departing from the following data

     v1               v2                v3                   z
0.0375815    0.0480932     -1                 -0.3227311
-0.0192965   0.0261546    -0.1428161     -0.0480932
-0.097088     0.0096482     0                   0.0187907

I am using NLS to estimate the following function

z = v1*rho+v2*(rho^2)+v3*(sigma^2)

where you have two parameters (rho and sigma^2). The problem is I
tried two different ways to estimate the parameters that lead me to
different values but this shouldnt be the case. Originally, I was
using the following programme:

              program define nlequ
              version 9
              if "`1'"== "?" {
              global S_1 " rho sigma2 "
              global rho=1
              global sigma2=1
              replace `1'=v1*$rho +v2*$rho^2 +v3*$sigma2

and typing in the command line something like:

             nl equ z, init(rho=0.7, sigma2=1)


Likewise, we should be able to get to the same result if we type in
the command line

             nl (z1 = v1*{rho=1}+v2*{rho}^2+v3*{sigma2=1})  ,
init(rho -.1857942 sigma2 .3149169)

In Stata 9, we rewrote -nl- so that it produced more accurate results. In your command -nl equ z ...-, you are using the pre-Stata 9 syntax for -nl- and therefore calling the older code that uses local macros instead of scalars for internal computations. Your command -nl (z1 = ...)- is using the current version of -nl-.

In short, the version of your results using -nl (z1 = ...)- are more accurate than the results using -nl equ z ...-. Your example shows that "more accurate" does not always mean "lower sum of squares."

1- The reason i ask about nl is because I had some problems
introducing a nl programme in an ado file. is it illegal to use an nl
programme?  The structure of my ado file is as follows:

        program define  estim1

When I write an ado-file (command) that is going to use -nl-, I put the program that defines the nonlinear function in its own ado-file. If you look at -help nl-, in one of the examples we define a program called "nlces". You would put that code in a separate ado-file called nlces.ado. Then your main ado-file would use the "function evaluator program" version of -nl-.

2- Is illegal to name a programme if the name start with numbers?
(i.e.: a programme named 2sls)

Program names must start with a letter.

   -- Brian Poi

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