A Few Notes on UseR! 2014

July 25, 2014
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A Few Notes on UseR! 2014

It has been a month since the UseR! 2014 conference, and I'm probably the last one who writes about it. UseR! is my favorite conference because it is technical and not too big. I have completely lost interest in big and broad conferences like JSM (to me, it has become Joint Sightseeing Meetings). Karl has written two blog posts...

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library() vs require() in R

July 25, 2014
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library() vs require() in R

While I was sitting in a conference room at UseR! 2014, I started counting the number of times that require() was used in the presentations, and would rant about it after I counted to ten. With drums rolling, David won this little award (sorry, I did not really mean this to you). Ladies and gentlemen, I've said this before:...

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A package about nothing

July 25, 2014
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A package about nothing

nothing is a package about nothing. The idea is that when you do require(nothing) you express that you don't need anything, and therefore nothing assumes you are fine just using the base package, so it detaches all other packages. > loadedNamespaces() "base" "datasets" "devtools" "digest" ...

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Learning from alternative R engines at DSC 2014

July 25, 2014
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Learning from alternative R engines at DSC 2014

I was honoured to be invited earlier this month to the Directions of Statistical Computing meeting in Brixen, Italy. DSC is one of two meetings run by the R Project and unlike the useR! conference, DSC is a much smaller and intimate meeting (DSC 2014 had about 30 participants). If you haven't come across DSC meeting before (quite possible,...

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Things to try after useR! – Part 1: Deep Learning with H2O

July 25, 2014
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Things to try after useR! – Part 1: Deep Learning with H2O

Annual R User Conference 2014The useR! 2014 conference was a mind-blowing experience. Hundreds of R enthusiasts and the beautiful UCLA campus, I am really glad that I had the chance to attend! The only problem is that, after a few days of non-stop R talks, I was (and still am) completely overwhelmed...

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Combining pages of JSON data with jsonlite and plyr

July 24, 2014
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Combining pages of JSON data with jsonlite and plyr

The jsonlite package is a JSON parser/generator for R which is optimized for pipelines and web APIs. It is used by the OpenCPU system and many other packages to get data in and out of R using the JSON format. A bidirectional mapping One of the main strenghts of jsonlite is that it...

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Announcing Shiny Server Pro 1.2

July 24, 2014
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Announcing Shiny Server Pro 1.2

RStudio is very pleased to announce the general availability of Shiny Server Pro 1.2. Download a free 45 day evaluation of Shiny Server Pro 1.2 Shiny Server Pro 1.2 adds support for R Markdown Interactive Documents in addition to Shiny applications. Learn more about Interactive Documents by registering for the Reproducible Reporting webinar August 13

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Interactive visualization of non-linear logistic regression decision boundaries with Shiny

Interactive visualization of non-linear logistic regression decision boundaries with Shiny

(skip to the shiny app) Model building is very often an iterative process that involves multiple steps of choosing an algorithm and hyperparameters, evaluating that model / cross validation, and optimizing the hyperparameters. I find a great aid in this process, for classification tasks, is not only to keep track of the accuracy across models, »more

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An ISO Standard for R (just kidding)

July 24, 2014
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IST/5, the British Standards’ committee responsible for programming languages in the UK, has a new(ish) committee secretary and like all people in a new role wants to see a vision of the future; IST/5 members have been emailed asking us what we see happening in the programming language standards’ world over the next 12 months.

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Agent Based Models and RNetLogo

July 24, 2014
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Agent Based Models and RNetLogo

by Joseph Rickert If I had to pick just one application to be the “killer app” for the digital computer I would probably choose Agent Based Modeling (ABM). Imagine creating a world populated with hundreds, or even thousands of agents, interacting with each other and with the environment according to their own simple rules. What kinds of patterns and...

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Six of One (Plot), Half-Dozen of the Other

July 24, 2014
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Six of One (Plot), Half-Dozen of the Other

This is a guest post by Randy Zwitch (@randyzwitch), a digital analytics and predictive modeling consultant in the Greater Philadelphia area. Randy blogs regularly about Data Science and related technologies at http://randyzwitch.com. He’s blogged at Bad Hessian before here. For those of you with WordPress blogs and have the Jetpack Stats module installed, you’re intimately familiar… Continue reading →

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What shall we talk about at ESA?

July 24, 2014
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What shall we talk about at ESA?

ESA is just around the corner, and many of us are gearing up and trying to figure out a schedule to cover all the talks and people we can pack in. ESA is a big conference and there’s far too much for any one person to see. In the end, everyone experiences a different...

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Left-handed catchers

July 23, 2014
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Left-handed catchers

Benny Distefano – 1985 Donruss #166 (source: baseball-almanac.com) We are approaching the twenty-fifth anniversary of the last time a left-handed throwing catcher appeared behind the plate in a Major League Baseball game; on August 18, 1989 Benny Distefano made his third and final appearance as a catcher for the Pirates. Distefano’s accomplishment was celebrated five years...

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Coherent population forecasting using R

July 23, 2014
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Coherent population forecasting using R

This is an example of how to use the demography package in R for stochastic population forecasting with coherent components. It is based on the papers by Hyndman and Booth (IJF 2008) and Hyndman, Booth and Yasmeen (Demography 2013). I will use Australian data from 1950 to 2009 and forecast the next 50 years. In demography, “coherent” forecasts are...

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magrittr: Simplifying R code with pipes

July 23, 2014
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magrittr: Simplifying R code with pipes

R is a functional language, which means that your code often contains a lot of ( parentheses ). And complex code often means nesting those parentheses together, which make code hard to read and understand. But there's a very handy R package — magrittr, by Stefan Milton Bache — which lets you transform nested function calls into a simple...

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Mideast Graph 3: Slate Middle East Friendship

July 23, 2014
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Mideast Graph 3: Slate Middle East Friendship

Slate recently published a great info-graphic about Middle-East Relationships. It shows the relationships (Friend, Enemy, or Complicated) of 13 countries / organizations and the relationships between each pair. One draw back of the chart is that it doe...

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Making random draws from an arbitrarily defined pdf

July 23, 2014
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Making random draws from an arbitrarily defined pdf

I recently found myself in need of a function to sample randomly from an arbitrarily defined probability density function. An excellent post by Quantitations shows how to accomplish this using some of Rs fairly sophisticated functional approximation to...

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Flood fill a region of an active device in R

July 23, 2014
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Flood fill a region of an active device in R

The following is a function to "flood fill" a region on the active plotting device. Once called, the user will be asked to click on the desired target region. The flood fill algorithm then searches neighbors in 4 directions of the target cell (down, le...

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Uncovering the Preferences Shaping Consumer Data: Matrix Factorization

July 23, 2014
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Uncovering the Preferences Shaping Consumer Data: Matrix Factorization

How do you limit your search when looking for a hotel? Those trying to save money begin with price. Members of hotel reward programs focus on their brand. At other times, location is first to narrow our consideration set. What does hotel search re...

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New data packages

July 23, 2014
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New data packages

I’ve released four new data packages to CRAN: babynames, fueleconomy, nasaweather and nycflights13. The goal of these packages is to provide some interesting, and relatively large, datasets to demonstrate various data analysis challenges in R. The package source code (on github, linked above) is fully reproducible so that you can see some data tidying in

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Plotting the characteristic roots for ARIMA models

July 23, 2014
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Plotting the characteristic roots for ARIMA models

When modelling data with ARIMA models, it is sometimes useful to plot the inverse characteristic roots. The following functions will compute and plot the inverse roots for any fitted ARIMA model (including seasonal models). # Compute AR roots arroots <- function(object) { if(class(object) != "Arima" & class(object) != "ar") stop("object must be of class Arima or ar") if(class(object) ==...

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Advanced R Profiling with pbdPAPI

July 22, 2014
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Advanced R Profiling with pbdPAPI

R has some extremely useful utilities for profiling, such as system.time(), Rprof(), the often overlooked tracemem(), and the rbenchmark package. But if you want more than just simple timings of code execution, you will mostly have to look elsewhere. One of the best sources for profiling data is hardware performance counters, available in most modern hardware. This data can...

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Chart from R + Color from Javascript

July 22, 2014
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Another color experiment combining resources from R and Javascript.  I just wish I could do Mean Phylogenetic Distance in Javascript like rPlotter.  I enjoyed using d3.js zoom behavior to pan and zoom the image on canvas.  Also, filedrop.js made the...

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Rcpp11 3.1.1

July 22, 2014
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R 3.1.1 was released a few days ago, and as part of the policy we are trying to follow for Rcpp11 releases, here is Rcpp11 3.1.1. Sorry for the 12 days delay, but I was away in California, and Rcpp11 travelled with me, so I could not properly test the ...

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Announcing Packrat v0.4

July 22, 2014
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Announcing Packrat v0.4

We’re excited to announce a new release of Packrat, a tool for making R projects more isolated and reproducible by managing their package dependencies. This release brings a number of exciting features to Packrat that significantly improve the user experience: Automatic snapshots ensure that new packages installed in your project library are automatically tracked by

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Intermission: A Data File For Futures Data (from Quandl)

July 22, 2014
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Intermission: A Data File For Futures Data (from Quandl)

So between variations of different strategies, for those who have yet to come across it, my IKTrading package has a … Continue reading →

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Comrades Marathon: A Race for Geriatrics?

July 22, 2014
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Comrades Marathon: A Race for Geriatrics?

It has been suggested that the average Comrades Marathon runner is gradually getting older. As an “average runner” myself, I will not deny that I am personally getting older. But, what I really mean is that the average age of all runners taking part in this great event is gradually increasing. This is not just

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How to Choose an R-Trainer?

July 22, 2014
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How to Choose an R-Trainer?

by James Peruvankal There are plenty of options if you want to learn R and are looking for training: your college’s statistics department, massive open online courses like Coursera, Udacity, edX, Datacamp etc. SiliconANGLE recently published an article about top R-training companies. Let’s talk about how to choose a good R-trainer. First and foremost is technical competency in R...

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Rcpp11 t-shirt sightseeing

July 22, 2014
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Rcpp11 t-shirt sightseeing

While we wait for CRAN to process the release of Rcpp11 3.1.1, here are some news about the Rcpp11 t-shirt. With more than 40 attendees, the Rcpp11 tutorial was a success. I managed to distribute almost all t-shirts I printed for the occasions. I onl...

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