Blog Archives

The relationship between skewness and kurtosis

January 28, 2015
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The relationship between skewness and kurtosis

In my book Simulating Data with SAS, I discuss a relationship between the skewness and kurtosis of probability distributions that might not be familiar to some statistical programmers. Namely, the skewness and kurtosis of a probability distribution are not independent. If κ is the full kurtosis of a distribution and […]

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IF-THEN logic with matrix expressions

January 26, 2015
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IF-THEN logic with matrix expressions

In the SAS DATA step, all variables are scalar quantities. Consequently, an IF-THEN/ELSE statement that evaluates a logical expression is unambiguous. For example, the following DATA step statements print "c=5 is TRUE" to the log if the variable c is equal to 5: if c=5 then put "c=5 is TRUE"; […]

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What is an empty matrix?

January 22, 2015
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What is an empty matrix?

At the beginning of my book Statistical Programming with SAS/IML Software I give the following programming tip (p. 25): Do not confuse an empty matrix with a matrix that contains missing values or with a zero matrix. An empty matrix has no rows and no columns. A matrix that contains […]

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Finding matrix elements that satisfy a logical expression

January 20, 2015
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Finding matrix elements that satisfy a logical expression

A common task in SAS/IML programming is finding elements of a SAS/IML matrix that satisfy a logical expression. For example, you might need to know which matrix elements are missing, are negative, or are divisible by 2. In the DATA step, you can use the WHERE clause to subset data. […]

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Calling a global statement inside a loop

January 14, 2015
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Calling a global statement inside a loop

The other day I was creating some histograms inside a loop in PROC IML. It was difficult for me to determine which histogram was associated with which value of the looping variable. "No problem," I said. "I'll just use a TITLE statement inside the loop so that each histogram has […]

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Twelve posts from 2014 that deserve a second look

January 12, 2015
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Twelve posts from 2014 that deserve a second look

I began 2015 by compiling a list of popular articles from my blog in 2014. Although this "People's Choice" list contains many interesting articles, some of my favorites did not make the list. Today I present the "Editor's Choice" list of articles that deserve a second look. I've highlighted one […]

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Compute the kth smallest data value in SAS

January 7, 2015
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Compute the kth smallest data value in SAS

A SAS programmer recently posted a question to the SAS/IML Support Community about how to compute the kth smallest value in a vector of numbers. In the DATA step, you can use the SMALLEST function to find the smallest value in an array, but there is no equivalent built-in function […]

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Popular posts from The DO Loop in 2014

January 2, 2015
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Popular posts from The DO Loop in 2014

I published 118 blog posts in 2014. This article presents my most popular posts from 2014 and late 2013. 2014 will always be a special year for me because it was the year that the SAS University Edition was launched. The University Edition means that SAS/IML is available to all […]

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Self-similar structures from Kronecker products

December 17, 2014
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Self-similar structures from Kronecker products

I recently posted an article about self-similar structures that arise in Pascal's triangle. Did you know that the Kronecker product (or direct product) can be used to create matrices that have self-similar structure? The basic idea is to start with a 0/1 matrix and compute a sequence of direct products […]

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Elementwise minimum and maximum operators

December 15, 2014
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Elementwise minimum and maximum operators

Like most programming languages, the SAS/IML language has many functions. However, the SAS/IML language also has quite a few operators. Operators can act on a matrix or on rows or columns of a matrix. They are less intuitive, but can be quite powerful because they enable you perform computations without […]

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