UCSF 2010 Workshop


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Workshop on Respondent-driven Sampling Analyst Software

JUNE 15 AND 16, 2010

Venue: University of California, San Francisco. 50 Beale Street, Suite 1200 (12th Floor)

Sponsor: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Global AIDS Program, Surveillance Branch


RDS is a relatively new methodology used worldwide to gather HIV prevalence and risk factors data from hard to reach populations. In this workshop, the Hard-to-Reach Population Methods Research Group (HPMRG) is pleased to introduce a new comprehensive, user friendly and open-source software package for the analysis of RDS Data. The new software, RDS Analyst (RDS-A), includes a user friendly point-and-click graphical user interface allowing for the computation of new and existing estimators and standard errors, visualization of recruitment chains, and diagnostic analysis. It allows for the analysis of multiple variables at once, and the saving and re-use of syntax. For more technical users, the package may also be accessed through a command line interface to the open-source R programming language (http://www.r-project.org/).

The purpose of this 2-day workshop is to introduce RDS-A to researchers already experienced in RDS methodology and statistics. Participants will receive training on the RDS-A state-of-the-art analysis and graphic functions and will be asked to provide feedback in the interest of improving the software prior to more widespread distribution among users of RDS.

This workshop is designed as an introduction to the analysis of RDS data using RDS-A.

It will cover the full RDS-A suite of functions. This begins with data entry and loading data, coding missing data, and re-coding variables. It then treats descriptive and diagnostic methods including visualization methods, followed by existing and new tools for estimation, testing models, confidence intervals and sensitivity analysis. The workshop concludes with an introduction to the re-usable syntax and R command line capabilities of the software.

Workshop participants currently working with RDS data will be encouraged to bring these data, and evaluate them using RDS-A.

The workshop will be open to researchers in epidemiology, social and behavioral sciences with experience using RDS methodology, theory and statistics. You will need to bring a lap top.

The workshop is free, however all travel and other expenses are covered by the participant. We will be forward an agenda and any other pertinent information once you register.


Outline as PDF


RDS Analyst Software

RDS_Analyst_Manual RDS Analyst manual, including installation instructions.

The data is at:

C:\Program Files\RDS Analyst\R-2.11.1\library\RDSdevelopment\extdata



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Notes taken during the day

Sampling: A Review

Sampling M&Ms

  • Screen of the table: The goal is to determine the proportion of red in each bag?
  • Kitchen side of the table: The goal is to determine the proportion of orange in each bag?

The four bags have: 10%, 20%, 25%, 30%

Four bags:

Screen Kitchen


A = E


C =


B =


H =

Repeated sampling without replacement. Sample

Screen: 0%, 75%, 0%, 25% Kitchen: 0%, 75%, 0%, 25%

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