According to a KDD poll fewer respondents (by rate) used only R in 2017 than in 2016. At the same time more respondents (by rate) used only Python in 2017 than in 2016. Let’s take this as an excuse to take a quick look at what happens when we try […]

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Trick question: is a 10,000 cell numeric data.frame big or small? In the era of “big data” 10,000 cells is minuscule. Such data could be fit on fewer than 1,000 punched cards (or less than half a box). The joking answer is: it is small when they are selling you […]

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

I recently got back from Strata West 2017 (where I ran a very well received workshop on R and Spark). One thing that really stood out for me at the exhibition hall was Bokeh plus datashader from Continuum Analytics. I had the privilege of having Peter Wang himself demonstrate datashader […]

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Beginning analysts and data scientists often ask: “how does one remember and master the seemingly endless number of classifier metrics?” My concrete advice is: Read Nina Zumel’s excellent series on scoring classifiers. Keep notes. Settle on one or two metrics as you move project to project. We prefer “AUC” early […]

Estimated reading time: 15 minutes

At Strata+Hadoop World “R Day” Tutorial, Tuesday, March 29 2016, San Jose, California we spent some time on classifier measures derived from the so-called “confusion matrix.” We repeated our usual admonition to not use “accuracy itself” as a project quality goal (business people tend to ask for it as it […]

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

One of the things I like about R is: because it is not used for systems programming you can expect to install your own current version of R without interference from some system version of R that is deliberately being held back at some older version (for reasons of script […]

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

As John mentioned in his last post, we have been quite interested in the recent study by Fernandez-Delgado, et.al., “Do we Need Hundreds of Classifiers to Solve Real World Classification Problems?” (the “DWN study” for short), which evaluated 179 popular implementations of common classification algorithms over 120 or so data […]

Estimated reading time: 16 minutes

In most of our data science teaching (including our book Practical Data Science with R) we emphasize the deliberately easy problem of “exchangeable prediction.” We define exchangeable prediction as: given a series of observations with two distinguished classes of variables/observations denoted “x”s (denoting control variables, independent variables, experimental variables, or […]

Estimated reading time: 13 minutes

Two of the most common methods of statistical inference are frequentism and Bayesianism (see Bayesian and Frequentist Approaches: Ask the Right Question for some good discussion). In both cases we are attempting to perform reliable inference of unknown quantities from related observations. And in both cases inference is made possible […]

Estimated reading time: 38 minutes

I was watching my cousins play Unspeakable Words over Christmas break and got interested in the end game. The game starts out as a spell a word from cards and then bet some points game, but in the end (when you are down to one marker) it becomes a pure […]

Estimated reading time: 16 minutes