Archive for the ‘Tools’ Category

Graphics *and* Statistics: The Facebook Map

There is this beautiful graph created by the facebook intern Paul Butler showing all (?) connections between facebook accounts: Paul’s article is called “Visualizing Friendships“, which I would more call “Visualizing connections between facebook accounts”, but that is probably a different matter. Although this is a beautiful piece of artwork, from a statistical point of […]

Stat Computing Visions from the Past

I recently stumbled upon an old paper of a presentation I gave at the Interface conference in 1998, entitled “JAVA – the next Generation of Statistical Computing?”: It is very interesting to compare the things I envisioned 12 years ago and what actually came true. Here are some topics: Did Java change a whole lot […]

Blinded by Animation?

Stopping by at, you will easily get to the “default” example, which shows the scatterplot of life-expectancy vs. income-per-person running through the years 1800 to 2009. You really have to look carefully to spot the problem with Russia in 1933. How do we explain a spontaneous drop of life-expectancy from 33 years to only […]

Can you spot the Error?

Peter Huber referred to “the rawness of raw data”, a kind of data we would not expect to find in a textbook. The book of Fahrmeir and Tutz on multivariate modelling refers to the visual impairment data from Liang et al., 1992 in table 3.12: Nothing wrong here at first sight; but how would you […]

The R Revolution on TV

I never thought I would ever embed videos from FOX on my blog, but this one needs to be covered: Watch the latest business video at Watch SPSS co-founder Norman Nie talking about the “… unbelievably powerful open source language called R …” and “… I am not sure that SPSS is our biggest […]

R is eve R ywhe R e

R did definitely not start to be THE statistical computing tool. The “two Rs” in far down-under just needed some tool which was not too expensive and structured enough to support the elementary statistics classes filled with hundreds of students. Another constraint was the computing lab which was large enough, but “only” filled with Mac […]

The Power to … What did you say?

It is just about a year ago (exactly January 6th, 2009) that a New York Times article on R did fuel the dispute on what statistical analysis tool is “the best”. One of the highlight of the article was a quote from SAS’ Anne H. Milley: “I think it addresses a niche market for high-end […]

Mondrian Version 1.1 released

Pretty hard to get any attention while Steve is presenting the iPad 😉 , but nonetheless I like to point to the new version 1.1 of Mondrian. Here are the most important new features: Load data directly from R workspace files New color schemes Compatible with Java 6 on all platforms Very many bug fixes […]

Parallel Sets vs. Mosaic Plots (Take I)

Robert has released the wonderful parallel sets tool in version 2. It is JAVA, it is interactive – so what do we want more! As I spent some time thinking about the display of categorical data and creating tools for their visualization myself, I thought it would be a great idea to compare the parallel […]

Babylonian confusion or flexibility?

As we are used from UNIX. there is not one single suitable solution to solve a problem, but usually a few different ways to do “the same”. Depending on what commands we know (best), we will chose the one or the other solution. Only the absolute expert will be able to choose the most efficient […]

R vs. SAS

Everything started with the article in the NYT talking about R – and of course – did mention SAS. Andrew Gelman picked up the article and posted his take on the matter. Maybe it are sentences like Andrew’s “And it’s good to hear that SAS is in trouble” and Anne H. Milley, director of technology product marketing […]

The Good & the Bad [11/2005]

Yes, it has been a while since I posted a “Good & Bad” … But as I saw this “novel decision tree plot” on an advertisement by C&H for Paul’s R Graphics book, I got inspired again … Now here is “The Bad”: Let me explain, what went wrong with the R graphics: A tree, […]