IRTrees: Tree-Based Item Response Models of the GLMM Family

Paul De Boeck, Ivailo Partchev

Main Article Content


A category of item response models is presented with two defining features: they all (i) have a tree representation, and (ii) are members of the family of generalized linear mixed models (GLMM). Because the models are based on trees, they are denoted as IRTree models. The GLMM nature of the models implies that they can all be estimated with the glmer function of the lme4 package in R. The aim of the article is to present four subcategories of models, the first two of which are based on a tree representation for response categories: 1. linear response tree models (e.g., missing response models), 2. nested response tree models (e.g., models for parallel observations regarding item responses such as agreement and certainty), while the last two are based on a tree representation for latent variables: 3. linear latent-variable tree models (e.g., models for change processes), and 4. nested latent-variable tree models (e.g., bi-factor models). The use of the glmer function is illustrated for all four subcategories. Simulated example data sets and two service functions useful in preparing the data for IRTree modeling with glmer are provided in the form of an R package, irtrees. For all four subcategories also a real data application is discussed.

Article Details

Article Sidebar