Blog Archives

Modeling Trick: the Signed Pseudo Logarithm

March 1, 2012
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Modeling Trick: the Signed Pseudo Logarithm

Much of the data that the analyst uses exhibits extraordinary range. For example: incomes, company sizes, popularity of books and any “winner takes all process”; (see: Living in A Lognormal World). Tukey recommended the logarithm as an important “stabilizing transform” (a transform that brings data into a more usable form prior to generating exploratory statistics, Related posts:

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Why I don’t like Dynamic Typing

February 25, 2012
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A lot of people consider the static typing found in languages such as C, C++, ML, Java and Scala as needless hairshirtism. They consider the dynamic typing of languages like Lisp, Scheme, Perl, Ruby and Python as a critical advantage (ignoring other features of these languages and other efforts at generic programming such as the Related posts:

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Win-Vector starts submitting content to r-bloggers.com

August 8, 2011
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We have been consistently impressed by and enjoyed the wealth of R wisdom available on the R-bloggers aggregation site. Therefore Win-Vector LLC is granting the right to reformat and redistribute (with attribution and link) our blog‘s R content in the R-bloggers site and feeds. We hope to see our R content shared through this network. Related posts:

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Programmers Should Know R

August 6, 2011
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Programmers Should Know R

Programmers should definitely know how to use R. I don’t mean they should switch from their current language to R, but they should think of R as a handy tool during development.Again and again I find myself working with Java code like the following. td.linenos { background-color: #f0f0f0; padding-right: 10px; } span.lineno { background-color: #f0f0f0; Related posts:

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Your Data is Never the Right Shape

July 31, 2011
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Your Data is Never the Right Shape

One of the recurring frustrations in data analytics is that your data is never in the right shape. Worst case: you are not aware of this and every step you attempt is more expensive, less reliable and less informative than you would want. Best case: you notice this and have the tools to reshape your Related posts:

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The cranky guide to trying R packages

February 13, 2011
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The cranky guide to trying R packages

This is a tutorial on how to try out a new package in R. The summary is: expect errors, search out errors and don’t start with the built in examples or real data. Suppose you want to try out a novel statistical technique? A good fraction of the time R is your best bet for Related posts:

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Learn Logistic Regression (and beyond)

November 23, 2010
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Learn Logistic Regression (and beyond)

One of the current best tools in the machine learning toolbox is the 1930s statistical technique called logistic regression. We explain how to add professional quality logistic regression to your analytic repertoire and describe a bit beyond that. A statistical analyst working on data tends to deliberately start simple move cautiously to more complicated methods. Related posts:

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Must Have Software

May 28, 2010
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Having worked with Unix (BSD, HPUX, IRIX, Linux and OSX), Windows (NT4, 2000, XP, Vista and 7) for quite a while I have seen a lot of different software tools. I would like to quickly exhibit my “must have” list. These are the packages that I find to be the single “must have offerings” in Related posts:

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R annoyances

March 20, 2010
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Readers returning to our blog will know that Win-Vector LLC is fairly “pro-R.” You can take that to mean “in favor or R” or “professionally using R” (both statements are true). Some days we really don’t feel that way. Consider the following snippet of R code where we create a list with a single element Related posts:

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CRU graph yet again (with R)

December 13, 2009
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CRU graph yet again (with R)

IowaHawk has a excellent article attempting to reproduce the infamous CRU climate graph using OpenOffice: Fables of the Reconstruction. We thought we would show how to produced similarly bad results using R. If the re-constructed technique is close to what was originally done then so many bad moves were taken that you can’t learn much Related posts:

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