Accessing many fundamental questions in biology begins with empirical estimation of simple monotonic rates of underlying biological processes. Across a variety of disciplines, ranging from physiology to biogeochemistry, these rates are routinely estimated from non-linear and noisy time series data using linear regression and ad hoc manual truncation of non-linearities. Here, we introduce the R package LoLinR, a flexible toolkit to implement local linear regression techniques to objectively and reproducibly estimate monotonic biological rates from non-linear time series data, and demonstrate possible applications using metabolic rate data. LoLinR provides methods to easily and reliably estimate monotonic rates from time series data in a way that is statistically robust, facilitates reproducible research, and is applicable to a wide variety of research disciplines in the biological sciences.
- Received August 26, 2016.
- Accepted December 14, 2016.
- © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd