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When Buffon meets Bertrand

April 6, 2011
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When Buffon meets Bertrand

When Peter Diggle gave his “short history” of spatial statistics this morning (I typed this in the taxi from Charles de Gaulle airport, after waiting one hour for my bag!), he started with a nice slide about Buffon’s needle (and Buffon’s portrait), since Julian Besag was often prone to give this problem as a final

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How to: Multinomial regression models in R

April 5, 2011
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How to: Multinomial regression models in R

Apples, oranges, pears or bananas? Bus, train, car, or walk? Many choices are made between more than two options, a situation that can be represented by multinomial choice modelling. Here's a quick tutorial on how to do it in R.

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Comparison of compression

April 4, 2011
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Comparison of compression

I recently wrote an email with an attached LZMA archive. It was immediately answered with something like: "What are you doing? I had to boot linux to open the file!" First of all I don't care whether user of proprietary systems are able to read open formats, but this answer made me curious to know about the differences between some compression...

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Maps of solar radiation

Maps of solar radiation

The Atmospheric Science Data Center (ASDC) at NASA Langley Research Center offers several data sources. For example, it is possible to download a text file with the 22-year (July 1983 – June 2005) monthly and annual average of global horizontal irradiation. nasafile <- 'http://eosweb.larc.nasa.gov/sse/global/text/global_radiation' nasa <- read.table(file=nasafile, skip=13, header=TRUE) With this data, R and the

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Violin and boxplots with lattice and R

Violin and boxplots with lattice and R

A violin plot is a combination of a boxplot and a kernel density plot. Lattice includes the panel.violin function for this graphical tool. This example draws a violin and a boxplot together. First, let’s download some solar radiation data from the NASA webpage: nasafile <- 'http://eosweb.larc.nasa.gov/sse/global/text/global_radiation' nasa <- read.table(file=nasafile, skip=13, header=TRUE) Now, I plot a

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Find NHL Players with 30 Goals and 100 PIM using R

April 2, 2011
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Find NHL Players with 30 Goals and 100 PIM using R

Last week Jack Edwards raised the fact that Milan Lucic was the first Bruin player to join the 30 Goal / 100 Penalty Minute club in a few years.  It got me thinking about the other players who have accomplished … Continue reading →

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New version of vegan released to CRAN (1.17-9)

April 1, 2011
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New version of vegan released to CRAN (1.17-9)

Yesterday Jari packaged up the latest release in the current stable branch of the vegan package. Version 1.17-9 of vegan is now on CRAN as a source tarball with binaries for MS Windows and MacOS X to follow soon. New … Continue reading →

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What is R, really?

March 31, 2011
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What is R, really?

On CRAN, the official web home of all things R it says, R is a free software environment for statistical computing and graphics. Well, that sounds all hunky dory. But let’s take a close look at what this statement really … Continue reading →

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R + EC2 + RStudio Server

March 30, 2011
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R + EC2 + RStudio Server

I’ve been battling memory limits in R for over two years. Although R has numerous resources for high-performance computing, I still couldn’t get around hardware limitations. Things really got out of control last summer when I started analyzing data on how climate change influences population synchrony across large spatiotemporal gradients. My datasets were simply too

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Le Monde puzzle [#8]

March 29, 2011
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Le Monde puzzle [#8]

Another mathematical puzzle from Le Monde that relates to a broken calculator (skipping the useless tale): Given a pair of arbitrary positive integers (x,y) a calculator can either substract the same integer from both x and y or multiply either x or y by 2. Is it always possible to obtain equal

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