mizer 2.0.3 Unreleased

Bug fixes

  • Correct handling of shiny progress bar in project().


  • Consistently passing the time argument to the rate functions. This will allow extensions to implement time-dependent rates.
  • Passing growth and mortality rate to RDI function.
  • Simplified the getRates functions by removing the arguments that passed in other rates. Instead the required rates are now always calculated within these functions.
  • Improved documentation of rate functions and of how to register your own rate functions.
  • In validGearParams() handle NAs more gracefully and check that there are no duplicates.
  • Updated hake-mullet selectivity demonstration shiny app.
  • Improved user documentation in several places.

mizer 2.0.2 2020-06-08

Bug fixes

  • Time passed to rate functions is now the actual simulation time, not the time elapsed since start of simulation.
  • upgradeParams() works also on params objects that were created with a development version of mizer.
  • When upgrading an older params object, upgradeParams() does a better job at guessing the value for w_pp_cutoff.
  • getFeedingLevel(), getPredMort(), setInitialValues() and steady() now work also when model has extra components.
  • The critical feeding level lines are now mentioned in the legend of plotFeedinglevel() when called with include_critical = TRUE, see #162.
  • Avoid annoying warnings from dplyr package when species_params is a tibble.

Name changes

Minor enhancements

  • Some improvements to documentation.
  • More unit tests.
  • Uses less memory when time step is very small by not creating array with effort values at each time step.
  • getDiet() also takes into account possible contributions by user-defined other components.
  • In extension mechanism, now the name of a component is also passed to the functions implementing dynamics, encounter and mortality.
  • If project() is called with t_max < t_save then t_save is automatically reduced so that the result at t_max will get saved.
  • Start showing progress bar earlier during project().
  • New helper function project_simple() that projects a given number of time steps. This might be useful to extension writers.
  • The ... argument to project() is passed on to the dynamics and rate functions.
  • steady() runs faster by using project_simple().
  • Documentation on mizer website now has a search bar.

mizer 2.0.1 2020-05-05

Bug fixes

Name changes

Some inconsistencies in the choice of names for parameters was removed by renaming

  • interaction_p -> interaction_resource
  • r_resource -> resource_rate
  • K_resource -> resource_capacity

Minor enhancements

  • New functions other_params()<- and other_params() for setting and getting other parameters, for example to be used in user-defined rate functions.
  • setInitialValues() also sets initial_effort. #157

mizer 2.0.0 2020-04-04

This is a major new release with many new features, an internal refactoring of the code and a new extension mechanism.

Backwards compatibility

Nevertheless this version of mizer is almost fully backwards compatible with version 1.0 with the exception of bug fixes and the following breaking changes:

  • The previous version of mizer inconsistently truncated the lognormal predation kernel when calculating predation but not when calculating encounter. The new version never truncates. That leads to very small differences in simulation results.
  • Removed the print_it argument from plot functions.
  • plotFeedingLevel() now only plots the values within the size range of each species. If for some reason you want the old plots that show a feeding level also for sizes that the fish can never have, you need to supply an argument all.sizes = TRUE.
  • The way the density-dependence in the reproduction rate is set has changed, see RDD argument in setReproduction().
  • The sex_ratio argument has been removed from getRDI() and getRDD().
  • The set_scaling_model() function has been removed because such models can now be set up with newTraitParams() with the options perfect_scaling = TRUE and egg_size_scaling = TRUE.
  • The functions display_frames(), addSpecies(), setBackground() and retuneAbundance() have been removed to the “mizerExperimental” package (https://sizespectrum.org/mizerExperimental)
  • During runs of project() a progress bar is displayed by default. You can turn this off with the option `progress_bar = FALSE.
  • Throughout mizer the term “plankton” has been replaced by “resource”, which affects the labelling of the resource spectrum in plots.

Setting up models

The new functions

replace the old functions set_community_model(), set_trait_model() and MizerParams(), which are now deprecated. The new functions choose better default values, in particular for metabolic rate and maximum intake rate.

Setting model parameters

After setting up a mizer model, it is possible to change specific model parameters with the new functions

The new function setParams() is a wrapper for all of the above functions and is also used when setting up a new model with newMultispeciesParams(). (#51)

The documentation for these functions serves to explain the details of the mizer model.

Along with these setter functions there are accessor functions for getting the parameter arrays: getPredKernel(), getSearchVolume(), getInteraction(), getMaxIntakeRate(), getMetabolicRate(), getExtMort(), getMaturityProportion(), getReproductionProportion(), getCatchability(), getSelectivity(), getResourceRate(), getResourceCapacity(), getResourceParams(), getResourceDynamics(),

  • Setting of the maximum reproduction rate has been separated out into new function setRmax().

Initial Values and steady state

The MizerParams object now also contains the initial values for the size spectra. This is particularly useful if the model has been tuned to produce the observed steady state. The new function steady() finds a steady state for a model and sets it as the initial value. The initial values can be accessed and changed via functions initialN() and initialNResource(). The initial values can be set to the final values of a previous simulation with setInitialValues().

The MizerParams object now has a slot initial_effort that specifies the initial fishing effort to which the steady state has been calibrated.

Extension mechanisms

Mizer now has an extension mechanism that allows other R packages to be written to generalise the mizer model. See setRateFunction() and setComponent(). This mechanism is still experimental and may change as we gain experience in writing extensions for mizer.


  • Every plot function now has a plotly version that makes the plot interactive using the plotly package. So for example there is plotlyBiomass() as the plotly version of plotBiomass(), and so on.
  • New plotGrowthCurves() plots growth curves and compares them to the von Bertalanffy growth curve.
  • New plotDiet() plots the diet composition as a function of predator size.
  • New highlight argument to all plot functions that display curves for multiple species. Displays highlighted species with wider lines.
  • In the legends of all plots the species are now consistently ordered in the same way as in the species parameter data frame.
  • All plot functions that are not time-resolved now accept also a MizerParams object as an alternative to the MizerSim object to plot the initial state.
  • New plot() method for MizerParams object to plot the initial state.
  • Avoiding duplicate graphs in rmarkdown documents.
  • New argument include_critical in plotFeedingLevel() allows to show also the critical feeding level.
  • New wlim argument to plotSpectra() in analogy to the existing ylim argument to limit the w range in the plot.
  • The colours used in plot functions can be set with setColours().
  • The default line type is solid but this can be changed via the setLinetypes() function.
  • Use colour and linetype for plots irrespective of the number of species.

General predation kernel

  • Users can now replace the lognormal function in the predation kernel by a function of their choice, allowing a differently shaped kernel for each species.
  • New box_pred_kernel() implements a box-shaped kernel as an alternative to the default lognormal_pred_kernel().
  • New power_law_pred_kernel() implements a power-law kernel with sigmoidal cutoffs at both ends. This is suitable for filter feeders.
  • Users can sets a predation kernel that has a predator-size-dependent predator/prey mass ration (via setPredKernel()). Mizer automatically falls back on the old non-FFT code to handle this. (#41)
  • New getPredKernel() returns the full 3-dimensional predation kernel array, even when this is not stored in MizerParams object.

New gear setup

Now it is finally possible to have several gears (or fleets) targeting the same species. The information is set up via a new gear_params() data frame. See setFishing() for details.

Other new functions

  • There are now accessor functions for all slots in the MizerParams and MizerSim objects. For example to get at the size grid and its spacing you would now use w(), w_full(), dw(), dw_full().
  • New upgradeParams() and upgradeSim() can upgrade objects from previous versions of mizer so they work with the new version.
  • New getDiet() calculates the diet of predators. (#43)
  • Alternative functions RickerRDD() and SheperdRDD() for density-dependence in reproduction, as well as noRDD() and constantRDD().
  • New gear selectivity function double_sigmoid_length() allows modelling of escape of large individuals.
  • New gear selectivity function sigmoidal_weight() is weight-based trawl selectivity function. (Ken H Andersen)
  • New getGrowthCurves() calculates the growth curves (size at age).
  • New mizerRates() calculates all the rates needed in the model and collects them in a list.
  • A convenience function times() to extract the times at which simulation results are saved in a MizerSim object.
  • Convenience functions finalN(), finalNResource() and finalNOther() as well as idxFinalT() to access the values at the final time of a simulation.
  • New function getCriticalFeedingLevel() returns the critical feeding level for each species at each size.
  • Mizer reexports the melt() function from the reshape2 package which allows users to convert the arrays returned by mizer functions into data frames that can be used for example in ggplot2 and plotly.
  • validSpeciesParams() checks validity of species parameter data frame and sets defaults for missing but required parameters.

Other new features

  • The allometric exponents n, p and q as well as the feeding level f0 can now be set at the species level via columns in species_params.
  • The critical feeding level fc can now be specified as a species parameter and will be used to calculate the metabolic rate parameter ks if it is not supplied.
  • project() now shows a progress bar while a simulation is running. Can be turned off with progress_bar = FALSE argument.
  • Satiation can be switched off by setting the maximum intake rate to Inf.
  • Users can now set their own resource dynamics instead of the default resource_semichemostat().
  • Different species can interact with resource with different strengths, or not feed on resource at all, controlled by an interaction_resource column in the species parameter data frame.
  • The steepness of the maturity ogive can now be controlled via a w_mat25 column in the species parameter dataframe, which gives the size at which 25% of the individuals of a species are mature.
  • The scaling exponent for the allocation of energy into reproduction can now be set via the m column in the species parameter data frame.
  • project() can now continue projection from last time step of a previous simulation if the first argument is a MizerSim object. The new append argument then controls whether the new results are appended to the old.
  • Values for minimum resource size, and minimum and maximum consumer sizes are set automatically if not provided in newMultispeciesParams().
  • Default values for species parameters are used for missing values within a column in the species parameter data frame, not only if the column is missing entirely.
  • Rate functions take defaults for their n, n_pp and n_other arguments from the initial values in the params argument.
  • New perfect_scaling argument allows newTraitParams() to produce a perfectly scale-invariant model.
  • A new ext_mort_prop argument in newTraitParams() allows the inclusion of external mortality.
  • Added a data fileNS_params with the North Sea model MizerParams object.
  • Comments can be added to MizerParams objects and any of their slots. Slots that have comments are protected from being overwritten with allometric defaults.
  • Gear selectivity functions now can use the species parameters.


  • Mizer now has a documentation website at https://sizespectrum.org/mizer/ for the latest released version and at https://sizespectrum.org/mizer/dev for the development version. (#48)
  • The help pages of mizer functions has been extended massively, see for example the help for newMultispeciesParams().
  • The vignette chapters are shown as pages on the website.
  • The html help pages for plotting functions now show example plots.
  • Clarified that mizer uses grams and years as size and time units and is agnostic about whether abundances are per area, per volume or per study area. (#42)
  • Added a tutorial on using ggplot2 and plotly with mizer.
  • Added a tutorial on working with git and GitHub for mizer development.
  • Added a FAQ page for developers.
  • Added a unit test to automatically run a spell check on documentation.
  • Renamed some functions for consistency and to make them easier to understand, but kept old names as aliases for backwards compatibility:
  • Renamed maximum reproductive rate from r_max to R_max.
  • Updated list of publications (@Kenhasteandersen)
  • Using Rmarkdown in all roxygen comments

Bug fixes

  • In getSSB(), the calculation of the spawning stock biomass is done correctly using the maturity ogive instead of the proportion of energy allocated to reproduction. (#47)
  • The fast FFT method and the old method for calculating integrals now give the same numerical results. (#39)
  • getEncounter() and getPredRate() now set names on the returned arrays.
  • Resource carrying capacity for scale-invariant model is calculated in a way that reduces rounding errors.
  • Avoids potential problems with negative numbers due to numerical errors.
  • Consistently cutting off predation kernel at 0 and beta + 3 sigma.
  • The ylim argument is not handled correctly in plots.
  • display_frame() is now exported.
  • plotGrowthCurves() and getGrowthCurves() also works when there is only a single species
  • t_start argument in project() is used correctly
  • times are not truncated at 3 significant figures, because that would not allow something like 2019.
  • get_initial_n() gets values for n and q from params object
  • summary() of MizerParams object reflects the number of non-empty resource bins. (@patricksykes)

Under the hood

  • Now using vdiffr package to test plots.
  • Converted all S4 methods to functions to decrease the learning curve for new developers.
  • The calculation of defaults is now handled by new get_gamma_default(), get_h_default() and get_ks_default(), making it easier to change or extend these in the future.
  • Helper function set_species_param_default() makes it easier to set default values for species parameters.
  • Simplified FFT calculations are more readable.
  • Using @inherit functionality of roxygen2 to reduce duplication in roxygen documentation.
  • Using `@family’ to group function documentation pages.
  • The helper functions are now documented and exported.
  • getPhiPrey() is replaced by getEncounter() which now returns the full encounter rate, including the contribution from other components. Even in the absence of other components, getEncounter() differs from the old getPhiPrey() because it includes the search volume factor.
  • Changed naming convention: user-facing function names are now in camelCase.
  • Consistently use params to refer to an argument of class MizerParams, sim to refer to an argument of class MizerSim, and object to an argument that can be either.
  • Updated the calls to setClass() to follow the new guidelines, replacing representation by class and removing prototype and validity.
  • Added numerical tests.
  • Using assert_that to check arguments to functions more often.
  • Argument shiny_progress renamed to progress_bar because they control any type of progress bar.
  • In documentation renamed “background” and “plankton” consistently to “resource”.
  • Using outer() instead of tapply() where possible to improve readability.
  • Avoiding use of hasArg() and anyNA() because they were not available in R 3.1
  • A more robust code for setting up the size grids.
  • Improved consistency of when to issue warnings and when to issue messages.
  • Split large code files into smaller files.
  • Changes to MizerParams class:
    • Merged @std_metab and @activity slots into a single @metab slot.
    • Moved @w_min_idx out of @species_params into its own slot.
    • Added slot @maturity to hold the maturity ogive.
    • Added slot @pred_kernel to hold predation kernel if it has variable predator/prey ratio.
    • Added slot @resource_dynamics to allow user to specify alternative resource dynamics.
    • Added slot @gear_dynamics to species to be targeted by multiple gears.
    • Added slot @ft_mask that is used when calculating predation rates using the Fourier transform method.
    • Added slot @rates_funcs to allow mizer extensions to replace mizer rate functions with their own rate functions.
    • Instead of the function in the slot @srr we now have the name of the function in @rate_funcs$RDD, see #91.
    • Added slots @other_dynamics, @other_params, @other_encounter, @other_mort and @initial_n_other to allow mizer extensions to add more ecosystem components.

mizer 1.0.1 2019-01-27

  • Now compatible with older versions of R > 3.1.0.
  • Skipping a test on CRAN that fails on some machines with different precision.
  • Fixing minor typos in documentation.

mizer 1.0 2018-05-01

  • Fixed bugs in how the start time of a simulation was handled. This leads to small corrections, so that the output of this version is slightly different from previous versions.
  • Introduced a scale-invariant trait-based model, set up with set_scaling_model(), see section 12 in the vignette.
  • Added a function that adds news species to a scale-invariant background, and computes an approximately steady state close to the power law, see section 13 in the vignette.
  • Created an example shiny app to allow people to use mizer through a web browser without having to install mizer. The app explores the effect of more selective fishing gear in a case study.
  • Improvements to plots:
    • Added units to axes
    • Added function for plotting growth curves
    • PlotYield() no longer fails when species names are numbers or when a species abundance is zero
    • Added a total parameter to several plot functions to add the curve for the total community (sum over all species and resource)
    • Added a species parameter to all plot functions to allow for only a selection of species to be plotted
    • Allow the number of ticks on y-axis in biomass plot to be controlled
  • Allow for size- and species-dependent background death.
  • Add @initial_n and @initial_n_pp slots to MizerParams class.
  • Now checking that effort times are increasing.
  • Corrections in the documentation.
  • Improvements to the vignette.
  • Add a test of the numeric solution against an analytic solution.

mizer 0.4 2017-12-14

  • Improvements made to the speed by evaluating convolution sums via fft, removing the bottlenecks in getPhiPrey() and getPredRate().
  • Using C++ for the inner loop in the project method for extra speed.
  • Minor corrections to vignette and documentation to bring them into alignment and to document the new home on GitHub and new maintainers.

mizer 0.3 Unreleased

  • Improvements made to the speed of the simulations. Remaining bottle necks are the sweep statements in getPhiPrey() and getPredRate().
  • Moved tests to new suggested folder.
  • Minor changes to documentation to pass new check requirements.

mizer 0.2 2014-04-16

  • Release to coincide with the submission of the MEE paper. No major changes. Just minor bug fixes.

mizer 0.1 2013-10-08

  • Beta release - just about works but still some gremlins to sort out. There are a number of features I’d like to add in the coming releases.