# Monthly Archives: April 2010

## The Bernoulli factory

April 22, 2010
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$The Bernoulli factory$

A few months ago, Latuszyński, Kosmidis, Papaspiliopoulos and Roberts arXived a paper I should have noticed earlier as its topic is very much related to our paper with Randal Douc on the vanilla Rao-Blackwellisation scheme. It is motivated by the Bernoulli factory problem, which aims at (unbiasedly) estimating f(p) from an iid sequence of Bernoulli

## New R User Group in San Diego

April 22, 2010
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There's a new local R User Group in San Diego (CA, USA), and they're meeting tonight. If you're in the area, why not RSVP and come along? The topic looks great: Our speaker, Scott Wallihan, will be covering how to expand R's functionality through custom packages. This topic will be covered over two meetings. In our April meeting, we...

## R 2.11.0 released

April 22, 2010
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The latest version of R from the R Project, R 2.11.0, is now available in source code form. Binaries for Windows, Mac and Linux will appear in your local CRAN mirror in the next few days. Some new features include: Support for rendering bitmap images in graphics devices, via a new function rasterImage() The new function vapply is like...

## R 2.11.0 is released!

April 22, 2010
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The new R 2.11.0 is out! Get it from here. Take a look at these posts for some miscellaneous advices to make the upgrade easier. Also this thread on stackoverflow can be of some value. Feel free to contribute with suggestions about how to upgrade your ...

## The difference between “letters[c(1,NA)]” and “letters[c(NA,NA)]“

April 22, 2010
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In David Smith’s latest blog post (which, in a sense, is a continued response to the latest public attack on R), there was a comment by Barry that caught my eye. Barry wrote: Even I get caught out on R quirks after 20 years of using it. Compare letters and letters for the most recent thing that made me...

## Free Video Courses on R, Structural Equation Modelling, Causal Inference, and Regression from Uni Jena

April 22, 2010
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The Department of methodology and Evaluation Research at Universität Jena has made available a set of free online video courses on data analysis.They cover topics that are particularly relevant to psychology and social science researchers, including ...

## R: more plotting fun, this time with the Poisson

April 21, 2010
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Click on image for a larger version. Here is the code: par(bg="black") par(mar=c(0,0,0,0)) plot(sort(rpois(10000,100))/rpois(10000,100),frame.plot=F,pch=20,col="blue")

## Automated way to check for PGF version

April 21, 2010
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This is one way to check for the version of PGF that is installed in an automated way. First create a tex file with the following contents: \documentclass{article} \usepackage{tikz} \batchmode \makeatletter \typeout{PGFVersion=\pgfversion} \@@end Say you named it test-pgf-version.tex. Then: pdflatex test-pgf-version.tex cat test-pgf-verson.log | grep PGFVersion | sed ‘s/PGFVersion=//’ should display the version number. I

## Why use R? Because that’s what the pros use

April 21, 2010
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I had the great pleasure of sitting down for a beer with Steve O'Grady (from the open-source analyst group RedMonk), at the MySQL conference last week. It was great to get the perspective of someone who knows the tech industry so well, sees predictive analytics as a hot area, and is taking an active interest in statistics and R...

## Doing Maximum Likelihood Estimation by Hand in R

April 21, 2010
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Lately I’ve been writing maximum likelihood estimation code by hand for some economic models that I’m working with. It’s actually a fairly simple task, so I thought that I would write up the basic approach in case there are readers who haven’t built a generic estimation system before. First, let’s start with a toy example