Resampling and permutation tests in SAS

My colleagues at the SAS & R blog recently posted an example of how to program a permutation test in SAS and R. Their SAS implementation used Base SAS and was "relatively cumbersome" (their words) when compared with the R code. In today's post I implement the permutation test in […]
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The distribution of blood types by country

My colleague Robert Allison has a knack for finding fascinating data. Last week he did it again by locating data about how blood types and Rh factors vary among countries. He produced a series of eight world maps, each showing the prevalence of a blood type (A+, A-, B+, B-, […]
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Binning data by quantiles? Beware of rounded data

In my article about how to create a quantile plot, I chose not to discuss a theoretical issue that occasionally occurs. The issue is that for discrete data (which includes rounded values), it might be impossible to use quantile values to split the data into k groups where each group […]
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Does this kurtosis make my tail look fat?

What is kurtosis? What does negative or positive kurtosis mean, and why should you care? How do you compute kurtosis in SAS software? It is not clear from the definition of kurtosis what (if anything) kurtosis tells us about the shape of a distribution, or why kurtosis is relevant to […]
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The frequency of double-letters in Cryptoquotes

It usually takes more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech.        --Mark Twain In the popular Cryptoquote puzzle, you are presented with an enciphered version of a quote by a famous person. One of the appeals of the puzzle for me is reading the deciphered quote, such […]
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Which double letters appear most frequently in English text?

Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and caldron bubble.     Macbeth, Act IV, Scene I For the cyptanalyst or recreational puzzle solver, "double double" does not lead to toil or trouble. Just the opposite: The occurrence of a double-letter bigram in an enciphered word puzzle is quite fortunate. Certain double […]
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Create discrete heat maps in SAS/IML

In a previous article I introduced the HEATMAPCONT subroutine in SAS/IML 13.1, which makes it easy to visualize matrices by using heat maps with continuous color ramps. This article introduces a companion subroutine. The HEATMAPDISC subroutine, which also requires SAS/IML 13.1, is designed to visualize matrices that have a small […]
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The frequency of bigrams in an English corpus

In last week's article about the distribution of letters in an English corpus, I presented research results by Peter Norvig who used Google's digitized library and tabulated the frequency of each letter. Norvig also tabulated the frequency of bigrams, which are pairs of letters that appear consecutively within a word. […]
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Designing a quantile bin plot

While at JSM 2014 in Boston, a statistician asked me whether it was possible to create a "customized bin plot" in SAS. When I asked for more information, she told me that she has a large data set. She wants to visualize the data, but a scatter plot is not […]
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Skew this

The skewness of a distribution indicates whether a distribution is symmetric or not. A distribution that is symmetric about its mean has zero skewness. In contrast, if the right tail of a unimodal distribution has more mass than the left tail, then the distribution is said to be "right skewed" […]
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