Blog Archives

sample_n_of(): a useful helper function

May 23, 2018
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sample_n_of(): a useful helper function

Here’s the problem: I have some data with nested time series. Lots of them. It’s like there’s many, many little datasets inside my data. There are too many groups to plot all of the time series at once, so I just want to preview a handful of them. For a working example, suppose we want to visualize the top 50 American female baby names...

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10 PRINT mazes with ggplot2

10 PRINT mazes with ggplot2

There is a celebrated Commodore 64 program that randomly prints outs / and \ characters and fills the screen with neat-looking maze designs. It is just one line of code, but there is a whole book written about it. 10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10 Screenshots of the 10 PRINT program in action. Images taken from the 10 PRINT book. The basic idea, from my...

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Ridgelines in bayesplot 1.5.0

April 2, 2018
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Ridgelines in bayesplot 1.5.0

At the end of March, Jonah Gabry and I released bayesplot 1.5.0. The major additions to the package were visualizations using ridgelines and a new plot for PIT diagnostics from LOO validation. I don’t know what that LOO PIT thing is yet, so I’ll ta...

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Recode values with character subsetting

January 9, 2018
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Do you ever have to recode many values at once? It’s a frequent chore when preparing data. For example, suppose we had to replace state abbreviations with the full names: abbs

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Using nonstandard evaluation to simulate a register machine

January 5, 2018
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I recently completed all 25 days of Advent of Code 2017, an annual series of recreational programming puzzles. Each day describes a programming puzzle and illustrates a handful of simple examples of the problem. The puzzle then requires the participant to solve a much, much larger form of the problem. For five or so of the puzzles, I used nonstandard evaluation to implement...

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Secret Santa is a graph traversal problem

November 28, 2017
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Last week at Thanksgiving, my family drew names from a hat for our annual game of Secret Santa. Actually, it wasn’t a hat but you know what I mean. (Now that I think about it, I don’t think I’ve ever seen names drawn from a literal hat before!) In our family, the rules of Secret Santa are pretty simple: The players’ names are...

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Simplifying ggplot2 code by doing nothing

October 10, 2017
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Simplifying ggplot2 code by doing nothing

Recently, I joined the development team for bayesplot, an R package by the Stan team for plotting Bayesian models. Because visualizing Bayesian models in ggplot2 is a recurring topic here, it was a natural fit. So from time to time, I’ll post about some programming techniques and new features we develop in the bayesplot package. For this post, I describe one of strategies I have been using to...

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set_na_where(): a nonstandard evaluation use case

August 14, 2017
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set_na_where(): a nonstandard evaluation use case

In this post, I describe a recent case where I used rlang’s tidy evaluation system to do some data-cleaning. This example is not particularly involved, but it demonstrates is a basic but powerful idea: That we can capture the expressions that a user...

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A tour of the tibble package

July 9, 2017
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Dataframes are used in R to hold tabular data. Think of the prototypical spreadsheet or database table: a grid of data arranged into rows and columns. That’s a dataframe. The tibble R package provides a fresh take on dataframes to fix some longstan...

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Plotting partial pooling in mixed-effects models

June 21, 2017
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Plotting partial pooling in mixed-effects models

In this post, I demonstrate a few techniques for plotting information from a relatively simple mixed-effects model fit in R. These plots can help us develop intuitions about what these models are doing and what “partial pooling” means. The sleeps...

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