A general bilinear model to describe growth or decline time profiles

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31 Scopus citations


Linear models are widely used because of their unrivaled simplicity, but they cannot be applied for data that have a turning-or rate-change-point, even if the data show good linearity sufficiently far from this point. To describe such bilinear-type data, a completely generalized version of a linearized biexponential model (LinBiExp) is proposed here to make possible smooth and fully parametrizable transitions between two linear segments while still maintaining a clear connection with the linear models. Applications and brief conclusions are presented for various time profiles of biological and medical interest including growth profiles, such as those of human stature, agricultural crops and fruits, multicellular tumor spheroids, single fission yeast cells, or even labor productivity, and decline profiles, such as age-effects on cognition in patients who develop dementia and lactation yields in dairy cattle. In all these cases, quantitative model selection criteria such as the Akaike and the Schwartz Bayesian information criteria indicated the superiority of the bilinear model compared to adequate less parametrized alternatives such as linear, parabolic, exponential, or classical growth (e.g., logistic, Gompertz, Weibull, and Richards) models. LinBiExp provides a versatile and useful five-parameter bilinear functional form that is convenient to implement, is suitable for full optimization, and uses intuitive and easily interpretable parameters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)108-136
Number of pages29
JournalMathematical Biosciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007


  • Cognitive decline
  • Expolinear model
  • Growth model
  • Model selection criteria
  • Non-linear regression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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