The language R

In the universe of programming languages there is a rising staR. It is moving fasteR and getting biggeR and brighteR!

Ok, you get the hint! It is the language R or the R Language.

R language is the successor to the language S. R is extremely powerful for statistical computing and processing. It is an interpreted language much like Python, Perl. The power of the language R comes from the 4000+ software packages that make the R language almost indispensable for any type of statistical computing.

As I mentioned above in my opinion, R, is soon going to play a central role in the technological world. In today’s world we are flooded with data from all sides. To make sense of this information overload we need techniques like Big Data, Analytics and machine learning to make sense of this data deluge. This is where R with its numerous packages that make short work of data becomes critical. The packages also have very interesting graphic packages to display the data in many forms for faster  analysis and easier consumption.

The language R can easily ingest large sets of data in CSV format and perform many computations on them. R language is being used in machine learning, data mining, classification and clustering, text mining besides also being utilized in sentiment analysis from social networks.

The R language contains the usual programming constructs namely logical, loops, assignment etc. The language enables to easily assign values to vectors, matrices, arrays and perform all the associated operations on them.

The R Language can be installed from R-project. The R Language package comes with many datasets which are data collected from various sources. One such dataset is the Iris dataset. The Iris dataset is dataset about the Iris plant( Iris is a genus of 260–300[1][2] species of flowering plants with showy flowers).

The dataset contains 5 parameters

1)      Sepal length 2) Sepal Width 3) Petal length 4) Petal width 5) Species

This dataset has been used in many research papers. R allows you to easily perform any sophisticated set of statistical operations on this data set. Included below are a sample set of operations you can perform on the Iris dataset or any dataset

> iris[1:5,]

Sepal.Length Sepal.Width Petal.Length Petal.Width Species

1          5.1         3.5          1.4         0.2  setosa

2          4.9         3.0          1.4         0.2  setosa

3          4.7         3.2          1.3         0.2  setosa

4          4.6         3.1          1.5         0.2  setosa

5          5.0         3.6          1.4         0.2  setosa

> summary(iris)

Sepal.Length    Sepal.Width     Petal.Length    Petal.Width          Species

Min.   :4.300   Min.   :2.000   Min.   :1.000   Min.   :0.100   setosa    :50

1st Qu.:5.100   1st Qu.:2.800   1st Qu.:1.600   1st Qu.:0.300   versicolor:50

Median :5.800   Median :3.000   Median :4.350   Median :1.300   virginica :50

Mean   :5.843   Mean   :3.057   Mean   :3.758   Mean   :1.199

3rd Qu.:6.400   3rd Qu.:3.300   3rd Qu.:5.100   3rd Qu.:1.800

Max.   :7.900   Max.   :4.400   Max.   :6.900   Max.   :2.500



Here is a scatter plot of the Petal width, sepal length and sepal width

>scatterplot3d(iris$Petal.Width, iris$Sepal.Length, iris$Sepal.Width)



As can be seen R can really make short work of data with the numerous packages that come along with it. I have just skimmed the surface of R language.

I hope this has whetted your appetite. Do give R a spin!

Watch this space!

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Also see
1. Designing a Social Web Portal
2. Design principles of scalable, distributed systems
3. A Cloud Medley with IBM’s Bluemix, Cloudant and Node.js
4. Programming Zen and now – Some essential tips -2 
5. Fun simulation of a Chain in Android

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