Blog Archives

Using segmented regression to analyse world record running times

December 30, 2015
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Using segmented regression to analyse world record running times

by Andrie de Vries A week ago my high school friend, @XLRunner, sent me a link to the article "How Zach Bitter Ran 100 Miles in Less Than 12 Hours". Zach's effort was rewarded with the American record for the 100 mile event. Zach Bitter holds the American record for the 100 mile This reminded me of some analysis...

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Embedding images in R package help pages

December 23, 2015
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Embedding images in R package help pages

by Andrie de Vries Have you noticed that most R help does not contain any images? Historically, this was for a good reason: most programming language help assumes that you use the system on a text-only system, e.g. a headless linux server. If your system has no graphical capabilities, but the help contains images, then the help itself can...

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Securely storing your secrets in R code

December 16, 2015
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by Andrie de Vries Last month I wrote about How to store and use webservice keys and authentication details, a summary of the options mentioned in a twitter discussion started by Jennifer Bryan. All of the options in my article really stored the secrets in plain text somewhere on your system, but in such a way to minimize the...

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Setting up an Azure Resource Manager virtual machine with RStudio

December 2, 2015
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Setting up an Azure Resource Manager virtual machine with RStudio

by Andrie de Vries I am preparing for a demonstration of functionality of R at a conference next week. For maximum impact, I wanted to use a fast virtual machine in Azure. It is actually very easy to build a fresh machine (cloud or otherwise) that contains R as well as RStudio server. In essence, all you have to...

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How to store and use webservice keys and authentication details with R

November 25, 2015
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by Andrie de Vries (@RevoAndrie) I frequently get asked the question how you can safely store login details and passwords for use by R, without exposing these details in your script. Yesterday Jennifer Bryan asked this question on twitter and a small storm of views and tweets erupted. Do we have any sort of consensus whether user’s API keys...

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Enhancements to the AzureML package to connect R to AzureML Studio

November 18, 2015
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by Andrie de Vries We have written on several occasions about AzureML, the Microsoft machine learning studio that is part of the Cortana Analytics suite: Running R in the Azure ML cloud Call R functions from any application with the AzureML package Using miniCRAN in Azure ML In September we announced that the AzureML package for R allows you...

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Best practices for handling packages in R projects

November 11, 2015
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Best practices for handling packages in R projects

by Andrie de Vries For much of my data science work, I want to have the very latest package from CRAN or github. However, once any work finds it way into production server (where it runs on a regular schedule), I want my environment to be stable. Most importantly, for these projects I want to ensure I have reproducible...

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Using the wakefield package to easily generate reproducible sample data

November 5, 2015
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Using the wakefield package to easily generate reproducible sample data

by Andrie de Vries Back in 2011, I asked a question on StackOverflow: "How to make a great R reproducible example?". This question attracted some great answers, including answers by Hadley Wickham and Joris Meys (co-author of R for Dummies). In June of this year Tyler Rinker added a new answer. Tyler published the wakefield package. In his own...

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Edge cases in using the Intel MKL and parallel programming

October 26, 2015
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Edge cases in using the Intel MKL and parallel programming

by Andrie de Vries Recently we had a question on the public mailing list for Revolution R Open (RRO), on the topic of "MKL multithreaded library and mclapply do not play well together". If you're not familiar with these topics, here is a quick primer: The Intel MKL is a fast, multi-threaded math library. We bundle the MKL with...

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Updates to the foreach package and its friends

October 21, 2015
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Updates to the foreach package and its friends

By Andrie de Vries Earlier this month Rich Calaway, programme manager at Microsoft and maintainer of the foreach package, published some updates to the foreach suite of packages, including: foreach iterators doMC doParallel doSNOW Most of the changes were cosmetic, or to conform to CRAN policy. However, the last two packages (doParallel and doSNOW) had some functional changes. doSnow...

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