Blog Archives

Predicting the NBA Finals with R

May 30, 2012
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Predicting the NBA Finals with R

This is the initial post about the algorithm. See updates 1, 2, and 3 for more. The algorithm is currently 4-2 in the playoffs!OverviewI was struck by Martin O'Leary's recent post on predicting the Eurovision finals, which led me to decide that I wou...

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Mapping US Radiation Levels in R

May 8, 2012
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Mapping US Radiation Levels in R

I have posted previously about the open data available on Socrata (https://opendata.socrata.com/), and I was looking at the site again today when I stumbled upon a listing of levels of various radioactive isotopes by US city and state. The data is available at https://opendata.socrata.com/Government/Sorted-RadNet-Laboratory-Analysis/w9fb-tgv6 . You will need to click export, and then download it as a...

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Loading and/or Installing Packages Programmatically

May 8, 2012
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In R, the traditional way to load packages can sometimes lead to situations where several lines of code need to be written just to load packages. These lines can cause errors if the packages are not installed, and can also be hard to maintain, particularly during deployment. Fortunately, there is a way to create a function in R...

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Monitoring Progress Inside a Foreach Loop

February 9, 2012
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The foreach package for R is excellent, and allows for code to easily be run in parallel. One problem with foreach is that it creates new RScript instances for each iteration of the loop, which prevents status messages from being logged to the console output. This is particularly frustrating during long-running tasks, when we are often unsure...

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Using LaTeX, R, and Sweave to Create Reports in Windows

January 30, 2012
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Using LaTeX, R, and Sweave to Create Reports in Windows

LaTeX is a typesetting system that can easily be used to create reports and scientific articles, and has excellent formatting options for displaying code and mathematical formulas. Sweave is a package in base R that can execute R code embedded in LaTe...

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Parallel R Model Prediction Building and Analytics

January 26, 2012
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Modifying R code to run in parallel can lead to huge performance gains. Although a significant amount of code can easily be run in parallel, there are some learning techniques, such as the Support Vector Machine, that cannot be easily parallelized. However, there is an often overlooked way to speed up these and other models. It...

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Analyzing US Government Contract Awards in R

January 23, 2012
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Analyzing US Government Contract Awards in R

As I was exploring open data sources, I came across USA spending. This site contains information on US government contract awards and other disbursements, such as grants and loans. In this post, we will look at data on contracts awarded in the state of Maryland in the fiscal year 2011, which is available by selecting "Maryland"...

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R Regression Diagnostics Part 1

January 20, 2012
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R Regression Diagnostics Part 1

Linear regression can be a fast and powerful tool to model complex phenomena. However, it makes several assumptions about your data, and quickly breaks down when these assumptions, such as the assumption that a linear relationship exists between the predictors and the dependent variable, break down. In this post, I will introduce some diagnostics that you can...

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Analyzing Federal Government Bailout Recipients in R

January 19, 2012
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Analyzing Federal Government Bailout Recipients in R

I was searching for open data recently, and stumbled on Socrata. Socrata has a lot of interesting data sets, and while I was browsing around, I found a data set on federal bailout recipients. Here is the data set. However, data sets on Socrata are not always the most recent versions, so I followed a...

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An Intro to Ensemble Learning in R

January 19, 2012
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Introduction This post incorporates parts of yesterday's post about bagging. If you are unfamiliar with bagging, I suggest that you read it before continuing with this article. I would like to give a basic overview of ensemble learning. Ensemble learning involves combining multiple predictions derived by different techniques in order to create a stronger overall prediction....

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