Blog Archives

Look ma! No typing! Autorunning code on R startup

July 20, 2012
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Look ma! No typing! Autorunning code on R startup

Regular readers may know that I often make R-based GUIs. They’re great for giving non-technical users safe and easy access to statistical models. The safety comes from the restrictions of a GUI: you can limit what the users does more easily than with a command line, helping to reduce the number of opportunities for bad

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How long does it take to get pregnant?

June 15, 2012
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How long does it take to get pregnant?

My girlfriend’s biological clock is ticking, and so we’ve started trying to spawn. Since I’m impatient, that has naturally lead to questions like “how long will it take?”. If I were to believe everything on TV, the answer would be easy: have unprotected sex once and pregnancy is guaranteed. A more cynical me suggests that

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Be assertive!

May 30, 2012
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Be assertive!

assertive, my new package for writing robust code, is now on CRAN. It consists of lots of is functions for checking variables, and corresponding assert functions that throw an error if the condition doesn’t hold. For example, is_a_number checks that the input is numeric and scalar. In the last two cases, the return value of

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Benford’s Law and fraud in the Russian election

March 5, 2012
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Benford’s Law and fraud in the Russian election

Earlier today Ben Goldacre posted about using Benford’s Law to try and detect fraud in the Russian elections. Read that now, or the rest of this post won’t make sense. This is a loose R translation of Ben’s Stata code. The data is held in a Google doc. While it is possible to directly retrieve

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GUI building in R: gWidgets vs Deducer

February 20, 2012
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GUI building in R: gWidgets vs Deducer

I’ve been a user (and fan) of gWidgets for a couple of years now for GUI building in R. (See my introduction to it here.) However, it’s always good to check out the competition so I’ve been playing around with Deducer to see how they compare. R can access a number of GUI building frameworks

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R hits 10000 questions on stackoverflow

February 17, 2012
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R hits 10000 questions on stackoverflow

A milestone, though not that exciting as questions go. Still, if you haven’t yet joined the cult of Stack Exchange, take a look here. Tagged: r, stackoverflow

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Exploring the functions in a package

January 26, 2012
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Exploring the functions in a package

Sometimes it can be useful to list all the functions inside a package. This is done in the same way that you would list variables in your workspace. That is, using ls. The syntax is ls(pos = "package:packagename"), which is easy enough if you can remember it. Unfortunately, I never can, and have to type

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A quick primer on split-apply-combine problems

December 16, 2011
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A quick primer on split-apply-combine problems

I’ve just answered my hundred billionth question on Stack Overflow that goes something like I want to calculate some statistic for lots of different groups. Although these questions provide a steady stream of easy points, its such a common and basic data analysis concept that I thought it would be useful to have a document

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Interactive graphics for data analysis

September 1, 2011
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Interactive graphics for data analysis

I got a copy of Martin Theus and Simon Urbanek’s Interactive Graphics for Data Analysis a couple of years ago, whence it’s been sat on my bookshelf. Since I’ve recently become a self-proclaimed expert on interactive graphics I thought it was about time I read the thing. Which is exactly what I did last weekend

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