Hi, I haven't used OpenMx before, but I started by trying an example from the LISREL book (Joreskog & Sorbom).

I've reproduced the LISREL sample below and my translation to OpenMx based on reading the beginners section in the help. The error message I get is:

"Error: The job for model 'ex6' exited abnormally with the error message: Backing out of parameter space region where expected covariance is non-positive-definite."

I'm probably doing something silly here. Any help much appreciated!

======= lisrel code ========

Stability of Alienation

Observed Variables

ANOMIA67 POWERL67 ANOMIA71 POWERL71 EDUC SEI

Covariance Matrix

11.834

6.947 9.364

6.819 5.091 12.532

4.783 5.028 7.495 9.986

-3.839 -3.889 -3.841 -3.625 9.610

-2.190 -1.883 -2.175 -1.878 3.552 4.503

Sample Size 932

Latent Variables Alien67 Alien71 Ses

Relationships

ANOMIA67 = 1*Alien67
POWERL67 = Alien67
ANOMIA71 = 1*Alien71

POWERL71 = Alien71

EDUC = 1*Ses

SEI = Ses

Alien67 = Ses

Alien71 = Alien67 Ses

Let the Errors of ANOMIA67 and ANOMIA71 Correlate

Let the Errors of POWERL67 and POWERL71 Correlate

Path Diagram

End of Problem

======= end lisrel code ========

======= openmx code ========

library(OpenMx)

varnames <- c('ANO67', 'POW67', 'ANO71', 'POW71', 'EDUC', 'SEI')

dat <- read.table('ex1-6.cov', header=FALSE, fill=TRUE, col.names=varnames)

mat <- as.matrix(dat)

rownames(mat) <- colnames(mat)

for (i in 1:6) {

for (j in 1:6) {

if (i < j) {

mat[i, j] <- mat[j, i]

}

}

}

manifests <- varnames

latents <- c('Ses', 'Alien67', 'Alien71')

model <- mxModel(name='ex6',

type='RAM',

manifestVars=manifests,

latentVars=latents,

```
mxPath(from=c('Ses'), to=c('SEI', 'Alien67', 'Alien71'), arrows=1, free=TRUE),
mxPath(from=c('Ses'), to=c('EDUC'), arrows=1, free=FALSE, values=1.0),
mxPath(from=c('Alien67'), to=c('Alien71', 'POW67'), arrows=1, free=TRUE),
mxPath(from=c('Alien67'), to=c('ANO67'), arrows=1, free=FALSE, values=1.0),
mxPath(from=c('Alien71'), to=c('POW71'), arrows=1, free=TRUE),
mxPath(from=c('Alien71'), to=c('ANO71'), arrows=1, free=FALSE, values=1.0),
mxPath(from=c('Alien67', 'Alien71'), arrows=2, free=TRUE),
mxPath(from=c('ANO67'), to=c('ANO71'), arrows=2, free=TRUE),
mxPath(from=c('POW67'), to=c('POW71'), arrows=2, free=TRUE),
mxPath(from=manifests, arrows=2, free=TRUE),
mxData(observed=mat, type='cov', numObs=932)
```

)

fit <- mxRun(model)

======= end openmx code ========

I see a few things that might be going wrong here.

First of all, double-check that your covariance matrix is reading in correctly. It would be easy to get some of the values into the wrong places.

To check, just type

`mat`

after running your`for`

loops, and make sure the numbers are in the right places to be the full covariance matrix.If it's not coming out right, you can type out the whole thing:

Which is the more verbose way of doing it.

The other problems I see are with your variance paths:

You can fix it by changing:

into

Because

`latents`

is`c('SES','Aliens67', 'Aliens71')`

, this creates paths for all three latent variables, not just the two 'Alien' variables.This is likely an assumption that LISREL was making for you. OpenMx requires you to specify this explicitly, because OpenMx tries not to make assumptions--it does only what you tell it to do. I usually set a lower bound at .0001.

To specify a lower bound on your manifest variable error variances, change this line:

into:

You can add starting values by changing these lines:

into:

I've pasted the final code below, and it runs on my machine without an error. Hope that helps!