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Estimate confidence probabilities ('backward') and assignment error rates ('forward') per category (genotyped/dummy) by repeatedly simulating genotype data from a reference pedigree using SimGeno, reconstruction a pedigree from this using sequoia, and counting the number of mismatches using PedCompare.


  Pedigree = NULL,
  LifeHistData = NULL,
  args.sim = list(nSnp = 400, SnpError = 0.001, ParMis = c(0.4, 0.4)),
  args.seq = list(Module = "ped", Err = 0.001, Tassign = 0.5, CalcLLR = FALSE),
  nSim = 10,
  nCores = 1,
  quiet = TRUE



reference pedigree from which to simulate, dataframe with columns id-dam-sire. Additional columns are ignored.


dataframe with id, sex (1=female, 2=male, 3=unknown), birth year, and optionally BY.min - BY.max - YearLast.


list of arguments to pass to SimGeno, such as nSnp (number of SNPs), SnpError (genotyping error rate) and ParMis (proportion of non-genotyped parents). Set to NULL to use all default values.


list of arguments to pass to sequoia, such as Module ('par' or 'ped'), Err (assumed genotyping error rate), and Complex. May include (part of) SeqList, a list of sequoia output (i.e. as a list-within-a-list). Set to NULL to use all default values.


number of iterations of simulate - reconstruct - compare to perform, i.e. number of simulated datasets.


number of computer cores to use. If >1, package parallel is used. Set to NULL to use all but one of the available cores, as detected by parallel::detectCores() (using all cores tends to freeze up your computer).


suppress messages. TRUE runs SimGeno and sequoia quietly, 'very' also suppresses other messages and the iteration counter when nCores=1 (there is no iteration counter when nCores>1).


A list, with elements:


See below


See below


the pedigree from which data was simulated


a list with for each iteration the inferred pedigree based on the simulated data


a list with for each iteration the IDs of the individuals simulated to have been genotyped


array with Counts from the 'forward' PedCompare, from which PedErrors is calculated


a list with the call to EstConf as a semi-nested list (args.sim, args.seq, nSim, nCores), as well as the default parameter values for SimGeno and sequoia.


sequoia runtime per simulation in seconds, as measured by system.time()['elapsed'].

Dataframe ConfProb has 7 columns:,,

Category of the focal individual, dam, and sire, in the pedigree inferred based on the simulated data. Coded as G=genotyped, D=dummy, X=none


Probability that the dam is correct, given the categories of the assigned dam and sire (ignoring whether or not the sire is correct)


as dam.conf, for the sire


Probability that both dam and sire are correct, given their categories


Number of individuals per category-combination, across all nSim iterations

Array PedErrors has three dimensions:

  • FalseNeg(atives): could have been assigned but was not (individual + parent both genotyped or dummyfiable; P1only in PedCompare).

  • FalsePos(itives): no parent in reference pedigree, but one was assigned based on the simulated data (P2only)

  • Mismatch: different parents between the pedigrees


Category of individual + parent, as a two-letter code where the first letter indicates the focal individual and the second the parent; G=Genotyped, D=Dummy, T=Total


dam or sire


The confidence probability is taken as the number of correct (matching) assignments, divided by all assignments made in the observed (inferred-from-simulated) pedigree. In contrast, the false negative & false positive assignment rates are proportions of the number of parents in the true (reference) pedigree. Each rate is calculated separatedly for dams & sires, and separately for each category (Genotyped/Dummy(fiable)/X (none)) of individual, parent and co-parent.

This function does not know which individuals in the actual Pedigree are genotyped, so the confidence probabilities need to be added to the Pedigree as shown in the example at the bottom.

A confidence of \(1\) means all assignments on simulated data were correct for that category-combination. It should be interpreted as (and perhaps modified to) \(> 1 - 1/N\), where sample size N is given in the last column of the ConfProb and PedErrors dataframes in the output. The same applies for a false negative/positive rate of \(0\) (i.e. to be interpreted as \(< 1/N\)).


Because the actual true pedigree is (typically) unknown, the provided reference pedigree is used as a stand-in and assumed to be the true pedigree, with unrelated founders. It is also assumed that the probability to be genotyped is equal for all parents; in each iteration, a new random set of parents (proportion set by ParMis) is mimicked to be non-genotyped. In addition, SNPs are assumed to segregate independently.

An experimental version offering more fine-grained control is available at .

Object size

The size in Kb of the returned list can become pretty big, as each of the inferred pedigrees is included. When running EstConf many times for a range of parameter values, it may be prudent to save the required summary statistics for each run rather than the full output.


If you have a large pedigree and try to run this function on multiple cores, you may run into "Cannot allocate vector of size ..." errors or even unexpected crashes: there is not enough computer memory for each separate run. Try reducing `nCores`.

See also


# estimate proportion of parents that are genotyped (= 1 - ParMis)
sumry_grif <- SummarySeq(SeqOUT_griffin, Plot=FALSE)
tmp <- apply(sumry_grif$ParentCount['Genotyped',,,],
             MARGIN = c('parentSex', 'parentCat'), FUN = sum)
props <- sweep(tmp, MARGIN='parentCat', STATS = rowSums(tmp), FUN = '/')
1 - props[,'Genotyped'] / (props[,'Genotyped'] + props[,'Dummy'])
#>       Dam      Sire 
#> 0.3867925 0.2178218 

# Example for parentage assignment only
conf_grif <- EstConf(Pedigree = SeqOUT_griffin$Pedigree,
               LifeHistData = SeqOUT_griffin$LifeHist,
               args.sim = list(nSnp = 150,   # no. in actual data, or what-if
                               SnpError = 5e-3,  # best estimate, or what-if
                               CallRate=0.9,     # from SnpStats()
                               ParMis=c(0.39, 0.20)),  # calc'd above
               args.seq = list(Err=5e-3, Module="par"),  # as in real run
               nSim = 1,   # try-out, proper run >=20 (10 if huge pedigree)
#> Simulating parentage assignment only ...
#> i= 1 	 14:08:44 
#> Warning:  There are 1 SNPs scored for <50% of individuals 

# parent-pair confidence, per category (Genotyped/Dummy/None)
#> dam.conf sire.conf pair.conf  N
#> 14      G       G        G        1         1         1 90
#> 15      G       G        X        1        NA        NA 24
#> 17      G       X        G       NA         1        NA  6
#> 18      G       X        X       NA        NA        NA 40

# Proportion of true parents that was correctly assigned
1 - apply(conf_grif$PedErrors, MARGIN=c('cat','parent'), FUN=sum, na.rm=TRUE)
#>     parent
#> cat    dam      sire
#>   GG 0.950 0.9795918
#>   GD 1.000 0.0000000
#>   GT 0.950 0.8275862
#>   DG 0.000 0.0000000
#>   DD 1.000 0.0000000
#>   DT 0.000 0.0000000
#>   TT 0.912 0.7868852

# add columns with confidence probabilities to pedigree
# first add columns with category (G/D/X)
Ped.withConf <- getAssignCat(Pedigree = SeqOUT_griffin$Pedigree,
                             SNPd = SeqOUT_griffin$PedigreePar$id)
Ped.withConf <- merge(Ped.withConf, conf_grif$ConfProb, all.x=TRUE,
                      sort=FALSE)  # (note: merge() messes up column order)
head(Ped.withConf[Ped.withConf$"G", ])
#>          id         dam        sire LLRdam LLRsire
#> 31      G       G        G i025_2002_M i014_2001_F i018_2001_M   8.34    7.65
#> 32      G       G        G i110_2006_M i061_2004_F i073_2004_M  10.46    6.15
#> 33      G       G        G i145_2008_F i132_2007_F i127_2007_M   6.69    7.83
#> 34      G       G        G i050_2003_M i033_2002_F i028_2002_M   7.15    5.91
#> 35      G       G        G i080_2004_M i041_2003_F i039_2002_M   8.61    3.22
#> 36      G       G        G i136_2007_M i095_2005_F i089_2005_M   8.97   11.15
#>    LLRpair OHdam OHsire MEpair dam.conf sire.conf pair.conf  N
#> 31   17.42     0      0      0        1         1         1 90
#> 32   18.34     0      0      0        1         1         1 90
#> 33   15.94     0      0      0        1         1         1 90
#> 34   16.04     0      0      0        1         1         1 90
#> 35   17.62     1      0      1        1         1         1 90
#> 36   15.77     0      0      0        1         1         1 90

# save output summary
if (FALSE) {
conf_griff[['Note']] <- 'You could add a note'
   file = 'conf_200SNPs_Err005_Callrate80.RDS')

## P(actual FS | inferred as FS) etc.
if (FALSE) {
PairL <- list()
for (i in 1:length(conf_grif$Pedigree.inferred)) {  # nSim
  cat(i, "\t")
  PairL[[i]] <- ComparePairs(conf_grif$Pedigree.reference,
                             GenBack=1, patmat=TRUE, ExcludeDummies = TRUE,
# P(actual relationship (Ped1) | inferred relationship (Ped2))
PairRel.prop.A <- plyr::laply(PairL, function(M)
                     sweep(M, MARGIN='Ped2', STATS=colSums(M), FUN="/"))
PairRel.prop <- apply(PairRel.prop.A, 2:3, mean, na.rm=TRUE) #avg across sims
round(PairRel.prop, 3)
# or: P(inferred relationship | actual relationship)
PairRel.prop2 <- plyr::laply(PairL, function(M)
   sweep(M, MARGIN='Ped1', STATS=rowSums(M), FUN="/"))

if (FALSE) {
# confidence probability vs. sibship size
conf_grif_nOff <- Conf_by_nOff(conf_grif)