A user-friendly way to conduct empirical research together

June 6, 2011

(A guest post by Camiel de Koning)

When trying to replicate, verify or extend empirical research of others, a researcher generally encounters many time-consuming barriers and there are often many prerequisites. Fittestmodel has the objective to overcome many of these problems, by presenting a webapplication that allows users to:

  • use but not having to install R.
  • quickly incorporate datasets from a massive data library.
  • post their analyses instantly to the included messageboard.
  • extend/verify/modify others’s analysis easily.
  • find the context and source of used datasets immediately.
  • let others to help solve your problem.

The engine behind Fittestmodel is R, which is accessed through the nice Rserve interface. The user can enter the normal R commands, however the commands that interact with the server (like ‘system(‘format c:’) are filtered out (it would be nice if a future version of R could include a kind of firewall for the host system). Fittestmodel also includes a time limit imposed on the calculation to prevent users to lock the application indefinitely (the price of scalability is a set of limitations).

You can get a nice overview from the various youtube Demo’s and the FAQ on the

Here is one example:

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