Blog Archives

Where does .Renviron live on Citrix?

January 7, 2019
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Where does .Renviron live on Citrix?

At one of my clients I run RStudio under Citrix in order to have access to their data. For the most part this works fine. However, every time I visit them I spend the first few minutes of my day installing packages because my environment does not seem to be persisted from one session to the next. I finally had a...

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Survey Raking: An Illustration

December 25, 2018
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Survey Raking: An Illustration

Analysing survey data can be tricky. There’s often a mismatch between the characteristics of the survey respondents and and those of the general population. If the discrepancies are not accounted for then the survey results can (and generally will!) be misleading. A common approach to this problem is to weight the individual survey responses so that the marginal proportions of...

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Scraping the Turkey Accordion

December 11, 2018
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Scraping the Turkey Accordion

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Installing RStudio & Shiny Servers

November 12, 2018
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I did a remote install of Ubuntu Server today. This was somewhat novel because it’s the first time that I have not had physical access to the machine I was installing on. The server install went very smoothly indeed. The next tasks were to install RStudio Server and Shiny Server. The installation process for each of these is well documented...

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Diagnosing RStudio Startup Issues

September 6, 2018
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Yesterday I tried to start RStudio and something weird happened: the window launched but it was blank and unresponsive. I tried dpkg --remove and then re-installed. Same problem. I tried dpkg --remove followed by dpkg --purge and then re-installed. S...

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Updating R on Ubuntu

July 8, 2018
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Today I finally got around to updating my R to 3.5 (or, more specifically, 3.5.1). The complete instructions for doing the update on Ubuntu are available here. I’ve paraphrased them below. Authentication Key To ensure the integrity of files, add the appropriate public key to your system. You may have already done this, in which case you can skip this step. sudo...

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eRum (2018) Top Twenty

May 17, 2018
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eRum (2018) Top Twenty

My Top 20 highlights about eRum (2018) in Budapest. In no particular order: Returning to my favourite European city after so many years. Discovering the cheap and efficient bus 100E, which shuttles back and forth between the airport and city. I have previously only made this trip by car. Partial support from Toptal to attend the conference. Thank you, @AsiaLindsay. Partial support from...

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Travelling Salesman with ggmap

May 10, 2018
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Travelling Salesman with ggmap

I’ve been testing out some ideas around the Travelling Salesman Problem using TSP and ggmap. For illustration I’ll find the optimal route between the following addresses: ADDRESSES = c( "115 St Andrew's Drive, Durban North, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa", "1 Evans Road, Glenwood, Berea, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa", "7 Radar Drive, Durban North, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa", "25 Gainsborough...

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Classification: Get the Balance Right

April 20, 2018
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Classification: Get the Balance Right

For classification problems the positive class (which is what you’re normally trying to predict) is often sparsely represented in the data. Unless you do something to address this imbalance then your classifier is likely to be rather underwhelming. Achieving a reasonable balance in the proportions of the target classes is seldom emphasised. Perhaps it’s not very sexy. But it can...

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Tips for Lightning Talks

April 6, 2018
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It seems a little counter-intuitive, but a 5 minute lightning talk is far more difficult to prepare (and present!) than a standard 20 minute or longer talk. The principle challenge is fitting everything that you want to say into the allotted time, while still maintaining an engaging narrative. At the recent satRday conference in Cape Town (17 March 2018) we...

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