Blog Archives

Data visualization

March 4, 2012
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For those who have not read the seminal works of Tufte and Cleveland, please hang your heads in shame. To salvage some sense of self-worth, you can then head over to Solomon Messing’s blog where he is starting a series on data visualization based on ...

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Exponential smoothing and regressors

February 28, 2012
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I have thought quite a lot about including regressors (i.e. covariates) in exponential smoothing (ETS) models, and I have done it a couple of times in my published work. See my 2008 exponential smoothing book (chapter 9) and my 2008 Tourism Management paper. However, there are some theoretical issues with these approaches, which have come to light through the research of...

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Internet surveys

January 18, 2012
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I received the following email today: I am preparing a thesis … I need to conduct the widest possible poll, and it occurred to me that perhaps you could guide me toward an internet-based way in which this can be done easily. I have a ten-question questionnaire prepared, that I wish to have an random sample of the population...

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The art of R programming

November 29, 2011
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The art of R programming

This is a gem of a book. It will become the book I give PhD students when they are learning how to write good R code. That is, if I ever see it again. I had hoped to write a review of it, but I haven’t seen it since it arrived in the mail a

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What you wish you knew before you started a PhD

November 11, 2011
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What you wish you knew before you started a PhD

I asked my research group recently what they wished they had learned before they started work on a PhD. Here are some of the responses. More mathematics. Particular topics they named included real analysis, functional analysis, measure theory, algebra, linear algebra. That would have been my response also. I still wish I knew more mathematics than

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Kaggle on TV

September 22, 2011
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It is good to see forecasting algorithms getting some mainstream exposure on ABC Catalyst.

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Time series cross-validation: an R example

August 25, 2011
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Time series cross-validation: an R example

I was recently asked how to implement time series cross-validation in R. Time series people would normally call this “forecast evaluation with a rolling origin” or something similar, but it is the natural and obvious analogue to leave-one-out cross-validation for cross-sectional data, so I prefer to call it “time series cross-validation”. Here is some example

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Major changes to the forecast package

August 25, 2011
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Major changes to the forecast package

The forecast package for R has undergone a major upgrade, and I’ve given it version number 3 as a result. Some of these changes were suggestions from the forecasting workshop I ran in Switzerland a couple of months ago, and some have been on the drawing board for a long time. Here are the main

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Forecasting time series using R

August 24, 2011
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I’ll be giving a talk on Forecasting time series using R for the Melbourne Users of R Network (MelbURN) on Thursday 27 October 2011 at 6pm. I will look at the various facilities for time series forecasting available in R, concentrating on the forecast package. This package implements several automatic methods for forecasting time series

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Comparing HoltWinters() and ets()

May 29, 2011
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I received this email today: I have a question about the ets() function in R, which I am trying to use for Holt-Winters exponential smoothing. My problem is that I am getting very different estimates of the alpha, beta and gamma parameters using ets() compared to HoltWinters(), and I can’t figure out why. This is

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