One of the great advantages to specifying complicated sequences of operations in data (rather than in code) is: it is often easier to transform and extend data. Explicit rich data beats vague convention and complicated code.
Win-Vector LLC has recently been teaching how to use
R with big data through
sparklyr. We have also been helping clients become productive on
R/Spark infrastructure through direct consulting and bespoke training. I thought this would be a good time to talk about the power of working with big-data using
R, share some hints, and even admit to some of the warts found in this combination of systems.
The ability to perform sophisticated analyses and modeling on “big data” with
R is rapidly improving, and this is the time for businesses to invest in the technology. Win-Vector can be your key partner in methodology development and training (through our consulting and training practices).
J. Howard Miller, 1943.
The field is exciting, rapidly evolving, and even a touch dangerous. We invite you to start using
R and are starting a new series of articles tagged “R and big data” to help you produce production quality solutions quickly.
Please read on for a brief description of our new articles series: “R and big data.” Continue reading New series: R and big data (concentrating on Spark and sparklyr)
(or: how to correctly use
R has "one-hot" encoding hidden in most of its modeling paths. Asking an
R user where one-hot encoding is used is like asking a fish where there is water; they can’t point to it as it is everywhere.
For example we can see evidence of one-hot encoding in the variable names chosen by a linear regression:
dTrain <- data.frame(x= c('a','b','b', 'c'), y= c(1, 2, 1, 2)) summary(lm(y~x, data= dTrain))
## ## Call: ## lm(formula = y ~ x, data = dTrain) ## ## Residuals: ## 1 2 3 4 ## -2.914e-16 5.000e-01 -5.000e-01 2.637e-16 ## ## Coefficients: ## Estimate Std. Error t value Pr(>|t|) ## (Intercept) 1.0000 0.7071 1.414 0.392 ## xb 0.5000 0.8660 0.577 0.667 ## xc 1.0000 1.0000 1.000 0.500 ## ## Residual standard error: 0.7071 on 1 degrees of freedom ## Multiple R-squared: 0.5, Adjusted R-squared: -0.5 ## F-statistic: 0.5 on 2 and 1 DF, p-value: 0.7071
Authors: John Mount and Nina Zumel
One thing we commented on is that moving data values into columns, or into a “thin” or entity/attribute/value form (often called “un-pivoting”, “stacking”, “melting” or “gathering“) is easy to explain, as the operation is a function that takes a single row and builds groups of new rows in an obvious manner. We commented that the inverse operation of moving data into rows, or the “widening” operation (often called “pivoting”, “unstacking”, “casting”, or “spreading”) is harder to explain as it takes a specific group of columns and maps them back to a single row. However, if we take extra care and factor the pivot operation into its essential operations we find pivoting can be usefully conceptualized as a simple single row to single row mapping followed by a grouped aggregation.
Please read on for our thoughts on teaching pivoting data. Continue reading Teaching pivot / un-pivot
Authors: John Mount and Nina Zumel.
It has been our experience when teaching the data wrangling part of data science that students often have difficulty understanding the conversion to and from row-oriented and column-oriented data formats (what is commonly called pivoting and un-pivoting).
Real trust and understanding of this concept doesn’t fully form until one realizes that rows and columns are inessential implementation details when reasoning about your data. Many algorithms are sensitive to how data is arranged in rows and columns, so there is a need to convert between representations. However, confusing representation with semantics slows down understanding.
In this article we will try to separate representation from semantics. We will advocate for thinking in terms of coordinatized data, and demonstrate advanced data wrangling in
Our book Practical Data Science with R has just been reviewed in Association for Computing Machinery Special Interest Group on Algorithms and Computation Theory (ACM SIGACT) News by Dr. Allan M. Miller (U.C. Berkeley)!
The book is half off at Manning March 21st 2017 using the following code (please share/Tweet):
Deal of the Day March 21: Half off my book Practical Data Science with R. Use code
Please read on for links and excerpts from the review. Continue reading Practical Data Science with R: ACM SIGACT News Book Review and Discount!
We are very sorry for any confusion, trouble, or wasted effort bringing in Java software (something we are very familiar with, but forget not everybody uses) has caused readers. Also, database adapters for R have greatly improved, so we feel more confident depending on them alone. Practical Data Science with R remains an excellent book and a good resource to learn from that we are very proud of and fully support (hence errata). Continue reading Practical Data Science with R errata update: Java SQLScrewdriver replaced by R procedures and article