R Tips

With the plethora of R packages available finding the ‘right tool for the job’ can often take a little while.

A good place to start are the ‘Task Views’ pages on the CRAN website which detail the current tools available for different areas of statistical analysis.  For instance there is a Task View page on tools for Bayesian Inference in R, another on tools for the analysis of Spatial Data in R and another on ‘High-Performance and Parallel Computing with R’.

There is also the R Journal (with it’s associated RSS Feed) and the programs and materials from the annual ‘useR‘ conferences to find out about what is new and popular in R.

Some packages will have ‘Vignettes’ (documentation additional to their manuals) to be found on their associated CRAN pages.

For instance the R package ‘filehash’ has an associated Vignette which explains the concept of a ‘key-value style database’ which it utilises to facilitate interacting with data larger than will fit in the physical memory (RAM).

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