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Getting into shape for the sport of data science: Screencast of talk by Jeremy Howard at Melbourne R Users

March 23, 2011
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Getting into shape for the sport of data science: Screencast of talk by Jeremy Howard at Melbourne R Users

Jeremy Howard gave a talk at the Melbourne R User Group on 16th March 2011. Jeremy provided tips on how to successfully compete in data mining competitions. He showed how he combines R with other tools to build predictive models. … Continue reading →

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One bicycle for two

March 22, 2011
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One bicycle for two

Robin showed me a mathematical puzzle today that reminded me of a story my grand-father used to tell. When he was young, he and his cousin were working in the same place and on Sundays they used to visit my great-grand-mother in another village. However, they only had one bicycle between them, so they would

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JCGS 20th anniversary

March 22, 2011
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JCGS 20th anniversary

For its 20th anniversary, JCGS offers free access to papers, including Andrew’s discussion paper Why tables are really much better than graphs. (Another serious ending for an April fool joke!) Incidentally (or rather coincidentally), I received today the great news that our Using parallel computation to improve Independent Metropolis-Hastings based estimation paper is accepted by

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Statistics forum

March 21, 2011
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Statistics forum

The ASA is launching a new blog called the Statistics Forum, managed by Andrew Gelman and to which I will periodically contribute items that may induce some amount of discussion within the community, like the first entry by Michael Lavine on testing. (Meaning I will double-post on the Og and on the Statistics Forum, if

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A 3D Version of R’s curve() Function

March 21, 2011
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A 3D Version of R’s curve() Function

I like exploring the behavior of functions of a single variable using the curve() function in R. One thing that seems to be missing from R’s base functions is a tool for exploring functions of two variables. I asked for examples of such a function on Twitter today and didn’t get any answers, so I

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Updated infochimps R package, includes several new APIs

March 21, 2011
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Recently, the good folks at Infochimps.com rolled out a series of new APIs to add to their already impressive set of data resources. I have been in a perpetual state of catch-up since the new year, so I have only now got around to adding some of these new APIs to the infochimps R package. Here

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Bertand’s paradox [R details]

March 19, 2011
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Bertand’s paradox [R details]

Some may have had reservations about the “randomness” of the straws I plotted to illustrate Bertrand’s paradox. As they were all going North-West/South-East. I had actually made an inversion between cbind and rbind in the R code, which explained for this non-random orientation. Above is the corrected version, which sounds “more random” indeed. (And using

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How to: Binomial regression models in R

March 19, 2011
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How to: Binomial regression models in R

Ever wondered how to predict success or failure as a function of other variables? Here's a quick tutorial on binomial regression in R.

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How to display scatter plot matrices with R and lattice

How to display scatter plot matrices with R and lattice

In lattice, there is a function called splom for the display of scatter plot matrices. For large datasets, the panel.hexbinplot from the hexbin package is a better option than the default panel. As an example, let’s use some meteorological data from MAPA-SIAR: library(solaR) library(hexbin) aranjuez <- readMAPA(prov=28, est=3, start='01/01/2004', end='31/12/2010') aranjuezDF <- subset(as.data.frame(getData(aranjuez)), select=c('TempMedia', 'TempMax',

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Staying up to date on R packages

March 17, 2011
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Unless you regularly use particular R packages,  it’s becomes difficult to stay on top of updates and bug fixes.  Updates usually also include significant improvements in performance.  I wrote this short snippet of code which I run about once a month to keep up on updates. This short bit of code will give you a

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