bsims_init {bSims}R Documentation

bSims simulation functions


Functions to initialize, populate, animate, detect, and transcribe simulated birds in a point count.


bsims_init(extent = 10, road = 0, edge = 0, offset = 0)

bsims_populate(x, density = 1, abund_fun = NULL, xy_fun = NULL,
  margin = 0, maxit = 100, fail = FALSE, ...)

bsims_animate(x, vocal_rate = 1, move_rate = 0, duration = 10,
  movement = 0, mixture = 1, avoid = c("none", "R", "ER"),
  initial_location=FALSE, allow_overlap=TRUE, ...)

bsims_detect(x, xy = c(0, 0), tau = 1, dist_fun = NULL,
  event_type = c("vocal", "move", "both"), ...)

bsims_transcribe(x, tint = NULL, rint = Inf, error = 0,
  condition=c("event1", "det1", "alldet"),
  event_type=NULL, perception=NULL, ...)


## S3 method for class 'bsims_landscape'
print(x, ...)
## S3 method for class 'bsims_population'
print(x, ...)
## S3 method for class 'bsims_events'
print(x, ...)
## S3 method for class 'bsims_detections'
print(x, ...)
## S3 method for class 'bsims_transcript'
print(x, ...)
## S3 method for class 'bsims_all'
print(x, ...)



extent of simulation area, an extent x extent square with (0,0) at the center.


half width of the road stratum (perpendicular to the y axis).


width of edge, same width on both sides of the road stratum.


offset to apply to road and edge strata relative to the center in the x direction.


a simulation object.


population density, D, recycled 3x for the 3 strata (H: habitat, E: edge, R: road).


function to simulate abundance, N ~ Poisson(lambda), lambda=DA by default.


function used to simulate nest locations, see acceptreject. The function should return probability (value between 0 and 1), NULL means complete spatial randomness.

margin, maxit, fail

arguments passed to acceptreject when using xy_fun to simulate nest locations.

vocal_rate, move_rate

Vocal and movement rates (see events). Both of these rates can be: a single number; a vector of length length(mixture) (behavior based finite mixture groups); a vector of length 3 with mixture=1 (corresponding to HER strata); or a matrix of dimension 3 x length(mixture) (HER strata x number of behavior based groups).


total time duration to consider (in minutes), passed to events.


standard deviation for a bivariate Normal kernel to simulate locations centered at the nest location, passed to events. Can refer to the same stratum and behavior based groups as move_rate.


behavior based finite mixture group proportions.


range along the x axis to avoid with respect to movement locations, passed to events.


logical, move_rate and vocal_rate are silently ignored if TRUE and nest locations are provided as part of the events table. This renders all individuals equally available for detection.


logical, allowing overlap between neighboring nests when movement is involved. If FALSE, Voronoi tessellation is used to prevent overlap. If TRUE, the unconstrained bivariate Normal kernel is used.


a vector of x and y coordinates describing the position of the observer.


parameter of the distance function. Can be a single numeric value or a vector of length 3 to provide parameter in the 3 strata (H: habitat, E: edge, R: road). Segmented sound attenuation is used when the values are different in the 3 strata (see dist_fun2).


distance function (1st argument is distance, second is tau).


type of events to access (vocal, movement, or both). Inherits value from input object when NULL.


time interval break points in minutes.


distance interval break points in units of 100 meter.


conditioning type to define availability for each individual: "event1": the 1st event (detected or not); "det1": the 1st detection; "alldet": all detections (counting the same individual multiple times).


log scale standard deviation for distance estimation error, see rlnorm2.


perceived number of individuals relative to the actual number of individuals. A non-negative number (<1 values lead to under counting, >1 values lead to over counting), or NULL (observer correctly identifies all individuals).


other arguments passed to underlying functions. For the bsims_all wrapper, it means all the arguments (except for x) that the underlying bsims_* functions have. bsims_all can also take a single list as its argument.


The functions capturing the simulation layers are supposed to be called in sequence, allowing to simulate multiple realities by keeping preceding layers intact. Construction allows easy piping. The bsims_all function is a wrapper for the bsims_* layer functions.

The simulations follow time-removal and distance sampling models based on Matsuoka et al. (2012) <doi:10.1525/auk.2012.11190>, Solymos et al. (2013) <doi:10.1111/2041-210X.12106>, and Solymos et al. (2018) <doi:10.1650/CONDOR-18-32.1>, and sound attenuation experiments by Yip et al. (2017) <doi:10.1650/CONDOR-16-93.1>.


bsims_init returns a landscape object.

bsims_populate returns a population object.

bsims_animate returns an events object.

bsims_detect returns a detections object.

bsims_transcribe returns a transcript object.

get_table returns the removal table.

bsims_all returns a closure with $settings(), $new(recover = FALSE), and $replicate(B, recover = FALSE, cl = NULL) functions. The settings function returns the input arguments as a list; the new function returns a single transcript object; the replicate function takes an argument for the number of replicates (B) and returns a list of transcript objects with B elements. The cl argument is used to parallelize the work, can be a numeric value on Unix/Linux/OSX, or a cluster object on any OS, see examples. The 'recover = TRUE' argument allows to run simulations with error catching based on try.

Note that simulated objects returned by bsims_all will contain different realizations and all the conditionally independent layers. Use a layered approach if former layers are meant to be kept identical across runs.


Peter Solymos


Matsuoka, S. M., Bayne, E. M., Solymos, P., Fontaine, P., Cumming, S. G., Schmiegelow, F. K. A., & Song, S. A., 2012. Using binomial distance-sampling models to estimate the effective detection radius of point-counts surveys across boreal Canada. Auk, 129: 268–282. <doi:10.1525/auk.2012.11190>

Solymos, P., Matsuoka, S. M., Bayne, E. M., Lele, S. R., Fontaine, P., Cumming, S. G., Stralberg, D., Schmiegelow, F. K. A. & Song, S. J., 2013. Calibrating indices of avian density from non-standardized survey data: making the most of a messy situation. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 4: 1047–1058. <doi:10.1111/2041-210X.12106>

Solymos, P., Matsuoka, S. M., Cumming, S. G., Stralberg, D., Fontaine, P., Schmiegelow, F. K. A., Song, S. J., and Bayne, E. M., 2018. Evaluating time-removal models for estimating availability of boreal birds during point-count surveys: sample size requirements and model complexity. Condor, 120: 765–786. <doi:10.1650/CONDOR-18-32.1>

Yip, D. A., Bayne, E. M., Solymos, P., Campbell, J., and Proppe, J. D., 2017. Sound attenuation in forested and roadside environments: implications for avian point count surveys. Condor, 119: 73–84. <doi:10.1650/CONDOR-16-93.1>

See Also

Plotting functions: plot.bsims_landscape

Getter functions: get_nests, get_events, get_detections, get_abundance, get_density get_table

Shiny apps: run_app

acceptreject, events, estimate


phi <- 0.5
tau <- 1:3
dur <- 10
rbr <- c(0.5, 1, 1.5, Inf)
tbr <- c(3, 5, 10)
(l <- bsims_init(10, 0.5, 1))
(p <- bsims_populate(l, 1))
(a <- bsims_animate(p, vocal_rate=phi, duration=dur))
(o <- bsims_detect(a, tau=tau))
(x <- bsims_transcribe(o, tint=tbr, rint=rbr))

get_table(x, "removal")
get_table(x, "visits")


plot(get_detections(o), "time")
plot(get_detections(o), "distance")

## wrapper function for all the bsims_* layers
b <- bsims_all(road=1, density=0.5, tint=tbr, rint=rbr)
## alternatively: supply a list
#settings <- list(road=1, density=0.5, tint=tbr, rint=rbr)
#b <- bsims_all(settings)
bb <- b$replicate(3)
lapply(bb, get_table)

## parallel simulations
b <- bsims_all(density=0.5)
B <- 4  # number of runs
nc <- 2 # number of cores
## sequential
system.time(bb <- b$replicate(B, cl=NULL))
## parallel clusters
cl <- makeCluster(nc)
## note: loading the package is optional
system.time(clusterEvalQ(cl, library(bSims)))
system.time(bb <- b$replicate(B, cl=cl))
## parallel forking
if (.Platform$OS.type != "windows") {
  system.time(bb <- b$replicate(B, cl=nc))

[Package bSims version 0.2-1 Index]