A method for obtaining randomized block designs in preclinical studies with multiple quantitative blocking variables



A method is proposed for block randomization of treatments to experimental units that can accommodate both multiple quantitative blocking variables and unbalanced designs. Hierarchical clustering in conjunction with leaf-order optimization is used to block experimental units in multivariate space. The method is illustrated in the context of a diabetic mouse assay. A simulation study is presented to explore the utility of the proposed randomization method relative to that of a completely randomized approach, both in the presence and absence of covariate adjustment. An example R function is provided to illustrate the implementation of the method. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.