Blog Archives

useR 2015: it’s a wrap!

July 3, 2015
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The latest worldwide R user conference has just wrapped up in Aalborg, Denmark and useR! 2015 was the best yet. A hearty round of applause to the organizers for a smoothly run, informative and fun event. To the organizers of next year's event in the Stanford, California: the bar has been raised. As I was chatting to various participants,...

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Announcing the R Consortium

June 30, 2015
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Announcing the R Consortium

The R community has grown explosively over the past few years, both in terms of the number of R users and the number of companies who rely on R as their data science platform. To serve the needs of this rapidly growing community, and to continue the success of the R Project as a whole, representatives from the R...

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Generalized Linear Mixed Models: the FAQ

June 29, 2015
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Mixed models (which include random effects, essentially parameters drawn from a random distribution) are tricky beasts. Throw non-Normal distributions into the mix for Generalized Linear Mixed Models (GLMMs), or go non-linear, and things get trickier still. It was a new field of Statistics when I was working on the Oswald package for S-PLUS, and even 20 years later some...

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R at Microsoft

June 26, 2015
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I was honoured to be the presenter at (http://www.meetup.com/R-Users-Sydney/events/223092608/), the (http://blog.revolutionanalytics.com/2015/04/r-user-group-meetings-this-week-in-the-bay-area-and-around-the-world.html) worldwide. The topic of my presentation was "R at Microsoft", where I described how Microsoft has enthusiastically embraced R for internal use (such as for Azure capacity planning, and Xbox gaming improvements), and as a feature of its data platforms...

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Connect R to Bloomberg with the RBlpapi package

June 15, 2015
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For anyone who works with financial data and has access to a Bloomberg terminal, there is a new R package to interface to Bloomberg data services: RBlpapi. (If you had searched for an R connection to Bloomberg you wouldn’t have found this one — Bloomberg is happy to have software that connects to its public API, but not to...

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SparkR: Distributed data frames with Spark and R

June 12, 2015
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R is now integrated with Apache Spark, the open-source cluster computing framework. The Databricks blog announced this week that yesterday's release of Spark 1.4 would include SparkR, "an R package that allows data scientists to analyze large datasets and interactively run jobs on them from the R shell". The SparkR 1.4 announcement led with the news: Spark 1.4 introduces...

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Any R code as a cloud service: R demonstration at BUILD

June 5, 2015
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Any R code as a cloud service: R demonstration at BUILD

At last month's BUILD conference for Microsoft developers in San Francisco, R was front-and-center on the keynote stage. In the keynote, Microsoft CVP Joseph Sirosh introduced the "language of data": open source R. Sirosh encouraged the audience to learn R, saying "if there is a single language that you choose to learn today .. let it be R". The...

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Computing with GPUs in R

June 3, 2015
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Computing with GPUs in R

On Monday, we compared the performance of several different ways of calculating a distance matrix in R. Now there's another method to add to the list: using GPU acceleration in R. A GPU is a dedicated, high-performance chip available on many computers today. Unlike the CPU, it's not used for general computations, but rather for specialized tasks that benefit...

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A comparison of high-performance computing techniques in R

June 1, 2015
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A comparison of high-performance computing techniques in R

When it comes to speeding up "embarassingly parallel" computations (like for loops with many iterations), the R language offers a number of options: An R looping operator, like mapply (which runs in a single thread) A parallelized version of a looping operator, like mcmapply (which can use multiple cores) Explicit parallelization, via the parallel package or the ParallelR suite...

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RStudio 0.99 released

May 29, 2015
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If you download R or Revolution R Open, the R interface is pretty stark — you'll get a command prompt, and not much else. That's fine for quick, interactive calculations, but if you need to do any serious scripting or programming in R, you'll need an interactive development environment (IDE) to be productive. For subscribers to Revolution R Enterprise...

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