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The tmt Package provides conditional maximum likelihood (CML) item parameter estimation of sequential as well as cumulative deterministic multistage (MST) designs (Zwitser & Maris, 2015, <10.1007/s11336-013-9369-6>) as well as probabilistic sequential and cumulative multistage designs (Steinfeld & Robitzsch, 2021, <10.31234/>). Supports CML item parameter estimation of conventional linear designs and additional functions for the likelihood ratio test (Andersen, 1973, <10.1007/BF02291180>) as well as functions for the simulation of several kinds of multistage designs.


To install the latest (development) version of the tmt package, please copy the following commands in your R console:

# Install release version from CRAN
# Install development version from GitHub


The application of the package tmt is illustrated below. Further, examples of different MST designs can be found in the associated vignette of the package. For the application of the package and the CML method, it is necessary first to specify the MST design. For this purpose, a model language was developed, which is illustrated in the first section of the example. First, each module of the design must be specified. The following deterministic sequential MST design consists of six modules, four paths’ and three stages. In the first part, the modules of the MST designs are defined (basically the allocation of items). Here different methods are available, the user can apply either the R function paste, but also address the items manually by hand as vector. It is important that the names of the specified items in the modules match those in the data. For the application illustration, some data is subsequently simulated on the basis of the specified MST design. In this example, a seed was set so that the results are easier to compare and to follow this example. For the actual estimation of the item parameters, the function tmt_rm is available. If data has been created with the tmt_sim function, it would be enough to hand over the data generated with this function as part of the export is also the MST design. If the data has not been synthetically generated with this function, it is necessary to specify the MST design.

You will find a detailed description of the package in the vignette (like sequential cumulative as well as probabilistic MST designs).


# spezification of the mst design
mstdesign <- "
    M1 =~ paste0('i',1:5)
    M2 =~ c(i6, i7, i8, i9, i10)
    M3 =~ c(i11, i12, i13, i14, i15)
    M4 =~ c(i16, i17, i18, i19, i20)
    M5 =~ c(i21, i22, i23, i24, i25)
    M6 =~ c(i26, i27, i28, i29, i30)

    # define branches
    p1 := M4(0,2) + M2(0,2) + M1(0,5)
    p2 := M4(0,2) + M2(3,5) + M3(0,5)
    p3 := M4(3,5) + M5(0,2) + M3(0,5)
    p4 := M4(3,5) + M5(3,5) + M6(0,5)

# application of the simulation function to generate som synthetic data
  items <- seq(-2,2,length.out=30)
  names(items) <- paste0("i",1:30)
  dat_mst <- tmt_sim(mstdesign = mstdesign,
        items = items,
        persons = 500,
        seed = 1111)

# estimate the item parameters
mod1 <- tmt_rm(dat_mst, mstdesign = mstdesign)

#> Call:
#>   tmt_rm(dat = dat_mst, mstdesign = mstdesign)
#> Results of Rasch model (mst) estimation: 
#> Difficulty parameters: 
#>              est.b_i1   est.b_i2   est.b_i3  est.b_i4   est.b_i5  est.b_i6   est.b_i7   est.b_i8   est.b_i9  est.b_i10  est.b_i11  est.b_i12  est.b_i13   est.b_i14  est.b_i15  est.b_i16 est.b_i17 est.b_i18 est.b_i19 est.b_i20 est.b_i21 est.b_i22 est.b_i23 est.b_i24 est.b_i25 est.b_i26 est.b_i27 est.b_i28 est.b_i29 est.b_i30
#> Estimate   -1.8723315 -2.0958741 -1.6615261 -1.713300 -1.8186340 -1.158071 -0.9886683 -0.8420062 -0.9228962 -0.7308394 -0.6285880 -0.2757812 -0.3722209 -0.08624961 0.07430272 0.01757996 0.2588665 0.2297421 0.5151070 0.5050877 0.7641251 0.8298368 1.1410283 1.1865533 1.1865533 1.9094270 1.5464586 1.5464586 1.5464586 1.9094009
#> Std. Error  0.2491036  0.2565554  0.2440581  0.245125  0.2476405  0.150556  0.1479676  0.1460532  0.1470717  0.1448089  0.1332405  0.1294712  0.1302474  0.12848723 0.12820874 0.11110163 0.1117521 0.1116458 0.1129994 0.1129397 0.1709856 0.1713395 0.1740409 0.1745734 0.1745734 0.2681366 0.2600917 0.2600917 0.2600917 0.2681357
#> CLL: -3219.822 
#> Number of iterations: 44 
#> Number of parameters: 30


The following features are planned for future releases: