Integrating Ecological Models and Data in R by Bolker B.

By Bolker B.

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Book February 27, 2006 EXPLORATORY DATA ANALYSIS AND GRAPHICS 33 Statisticians and computer scientists have done a lot of research on statistical graphics: in the 1980s, Cleveland (who was involved in the original design of the S language) He ordered different ways of representing information based on research subjects’ ability to glean accurate information from them (in descending order: position along a common scale, position along nonaligned scales, length, angle/slope, area, volume, color).

Str() The command str() tells you about the structure of an R variable: it is slightly less useful than summary() for dealing with data, but it may come in handy later on for figuring out more complicated R variables. Applied to a data frame, it tells you the total number of observations (rows) and variables (columns) and prints out the names and classes of each variable along with the first few observations in each variable. head() The head() command just prints out the beginning of a data frame; by default it prints the first six rows, but head(data,10) (for example) will print out the first 10 rows.

R is conservative by default, and assumes that, for example, 2+NA equals NA — if you don’t know what the missing value is, then the sum of it and any other number is also unknown. Almost any calculation you make in R will be “contaminated” by NAs, which is logical but annoying. =NA] to remove values that are NA from a variable, because even comparisons to NA result in NA! omit(x)), but it is also smart enough to do the right thing if x is a data frame instead, and throw out all the cases (rows) where any variable is NA; however, this may be too stringent if you are analyzing a subset of the variables.

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