Blog Archives

Warp your data to make it visually appealing

May 4, 2017
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Warp your data to make it visually appealing

Data plots can sometimes look very dull and need to be jazzed up a bit. Now, nobody’s suggesting that the important statistical properties of the data be changed, but wouldn’t it be useful if the points could be moved around a bit, to create something visually appealing without losing the desired statistical properties? Readers have

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Economics chapter added to “Empirical software engineering using R”

March 26, 2017
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The Economics chapter of my Empirical software engineering book has been added to the draft pdf (download here). This is a slim chapter, it might grow a bit, but I suspect not by a huge amount. Reasons include lots of interesting data being confidential and me not having spent a lot of time on this

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Empirical Software Engineering using R: first draft available for download

January 29, 2017
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A draft of my book Empirical Software Engineering using R is now available for download. The book essentially comes in two parts: statistical techniques that are useful for analyzing software engineering data. This draft release contains most of the techniques I plan to cover. I am interested in hearing about any techniques you think ought

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Automatically generated join-the-dots images

December 16, 2016
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Automatically generated join-the-dots images

It is interesting to try and figure out what picture emerges from a join-the-dots puzzle (connect-the-dots in some parts of the world). Let’s have a go at some lightweight automatic generation such a puzzle (some heavy-weight techniques). If an image is available, expressed as an boolean matrix, R’s sample function can be used to select

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Producing software for money and/or recognition

October 24, 2016
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In the commercial environment money makes the world go around, while in academia recognition (e.g., number of times your work is cited, being fawned over at conferences, impressive job titles) is the coin of the realm (there are a few odd balls who do it out of love for the subject or a desire to

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Software engineering data sets

September 5, 2016
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Software engineering data sets

The pretty pictures from my empirical software engineering book are now online, along with the 210 data sets and R code (330M). Plotting the number of data sets in each year shows that empirical software engineering has really taken off in the last 10 years (code+data). Around dozen or so confidential data sets are not

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cpu+FPGA: applications can soon have bespoke instructions

March 21, 2016
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Compiler writers are always frustrated that the cpu they are currently targeting does not contain the one instruction that would enable them to generate really efficient code. If only it were possible to add new instructions to the cpu. Well, it looks like this will soon be possible; Intel have added an on chip FPGA

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Workshop on survival and time series analysis in empirical SE

February 12, 2016
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In January the material in my book on Empirical software engineering using R had its first exposure to professional software developers at a one day workshop (there was a rerun last week; slides here). The sessions were both fully booked, but as often happens on half turned up, around 15 at each workshop. A couple

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subset vs array indexing: which will cause the least grief in R?

January 3, 2016
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The comments on my post outlining recommended R usage for professional developers were universally scornful, with my proposal recommending subset receiving the greatest wrath. The main argument against using subset appeared to be that it went against existing practice, one comment linked to Hadley Wickham suggesting it was useful in an interactive session (and by

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R recommended usage for professional developers

December 29, 2015
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R is not one of those languages where there is only one way of doing something, the language is blessed/cursed with lots of ways of doing the same thing. Teaching R to professional developers is easy in the sense that their fluency with other languages will enable them to soak up this small language like

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