From the early days of probability and statistics, researchers have tried to organize and categorize parametric probability distributions. For example, Pearson (1895, 1901, and 1916) developed a system of seven distributions, which was later called the Pearson system. The main idea behind a "system" of distributions is that for each

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In my book Simulating Data with SAS, I show how to use a graphical tool, called the moment-ratio diagram, to characterize and compare continuous probability distributions based on their skewness and kurtosis (Wicklin, 2013, Chapter 16). The idea behind the moment-ratio diagram is that skewness and kurtosis are essential for

Did you add "learn something new" to your list of New Year's resolutions? Last week, I wrote about the most popular articles from The DO Loop in 2019. The most popular articles are about elementary topics in SAS programming or univariate statistics because those topics have broad appeal. Advanced topics

Many SAS procedures can automatically create a graph that overlays multiple prediction curves and their prediction limits. This graph (sometimes called a "fit plot" or a "sliced fit plot") is useful when you want to visualize a model in which a continuous response variable depends on one continuous explanatory variable

*The DO Loop*in 2019

Last year, I wrote more than 100 posts for The DO Loop blog. The most popular articles were about SAS programming tips for data analysis, statistical analysis, and data visualization. Here are the most popular articles from 2019 in each category. SAS programming tips Create training, testing, and validation data

A 2-D "bin plot" counts the number of observations in each cell in a regular 2-D grid. The 2-D bin plot is essentially a 2-D version of a histogram: it provides an estimate for the density of a 2-D distribution. As I discuss in the article, "The essential guide to

Rockin' around the Christmas tree At the Christmas party hop. – Brenda Lee Last Christmas, I saw a fun blog post that used optimization methods to de-noise an image of a Christmas tree. Although there are specialized algorithms that remove random noise from an image, I am not going to

Binary matrices are used for many purposes. I have previously written about how to use binary matrices to visualize missing values in a data matrix. They are also used to indicate the co-occurrence of two events. In ecology, binary matrices are used to indicate which species of an animal are

Recently I showed how to visualize and analyze longitudinal data in which subjects are measured at multiple time points. A very common situation is that the data are collected at two time points. For example, in medicine it is very common to measure some quantity (blood pressure, cholesterol, white-blood cell

This is a second article about analyzing longitudinal data, which features measurements that are repeatedly taken on subjects at several points in time. The previous article discusses a response-profile analysis, which uses an ANOVA method to determine differences between the means of an experimental group and a placebo group. The

Longitudinal data are used in many health-related studies in which individuals are measured at multiple points in time to monitor changes in a response variable, such as weight, cholesterol, or blood pressure. There are many excellent articles and books that describe the advantages of a mixed model for analyzing longitudinal

This article discusses how to restrict a multivariate function to a linear subspace. This is a useful technique in many situations, including visualizing an objective function that is constrained by linear equalities. For example, the graph to the right is from a previous article about how to evaluate quadratic polynomials.

What is an efficient way to evaluate a multivariate quadratic polynomial in p variables? The answer is to use matrix computations! A multivariate quadratic polynomial can be written as the sum of a purely quadratic term (degree 2), a purely linear term (degree 1), and a constant term (degree 0).

In a linear regression model, the predicted values are on the same scale as the response variable. You can plot the observed and predicted responses to visualize how well the model agrees with the data, However, for generalized linear models, there is a potential source of confusion. Recall that a

My colleague, Mike Drutar, recently showed how to create a "strip plot" that shows the distribution of temperatures for each calendar month at a particular location. Mike created the strip plot in SAS Visual Analytics by using a point-and-click interface. This article shows how to create a similar graph by

Biplots are two-dimensional plots that help to visualize relationships in high dimensional data. A previous article discusses how to interpret biplots for continuous variables. The biplot projects observations and variables onto the span of the first two principal components. The observations are plotted as markers; the variables are plotted as

In grade school, students learn how to round numbers to the nearest integer. In later years, students learn variations, such as rounding up and rounding down by using the greatest integer function and least integer function, respectively. My sister, who is an engineer, learned a rounding method that rounds half-integers

Principal component analysis (PCA) is an important tool for understanding relationships in continuous multivariate data. When the first two principal components (PCs) explain a significant portion of the variance in the data, you can visualize the data by projecting the observations onto the span of the first two PCs. In

Understanding multivariate statistics requires mastery of high-dimensional geometry and concepts in linear algebra such as matrix factorizations, basis vectors, and linear subspaces. Graphs can help to summarize what a multivariate analysis is telling us about the data. This article looks at four graphs that are often part of a principal

Every year at Halloween, I post an article that shows a SAS trick that is a real treat. This article shows how to use the INTNX function to find dates that are related to a specified date. The INTNX function is a sweet treat, indeed. I previously wrote an article

A common task in SAS programming is to specify a list of variables that satisfy some pattern. You can specify lists for the KEEP= or DROP= data set options, and you can use lists of variables on many SAS statements such as the VAR and MODEL statements. Although SAS has

In response to a recent article about how to compute the cosine similarity of observations, a reader asked whether it is practical (or even possible) to perform these types of computations on data sets that have many thousands of observations. The problem is that the cosine similarity matrix is an

Computing rates and proportions is a common task in data analysis. When you are computing several proportions, it is helpful to visualize how the rates vary among subgroups of the population. Examples of proportions that depend on subgroups include: Mortality rates for various types of cancers Incarceration rates by race

The EFFECT statement is supported by more than a dozen SAS/STAT regression procedures. Among other things, it enables you to generate spline effects that you can use to fit nonlinear relationships in data. Recently there was a discussion on the SAS Support Communities about how to interpret the parameter estimates

I recently wrote about how to use PROC TTEST in SAS/STAT software to compute the geometric mean and related statistics. This prompted a SAS programmer to ask a related question. Suppose you have dozens (or hundreds) of variables and you want to compute the geometric mean of each. What is

In a previous article, I mentioned that the VLINE statement in PROC SGPLOT is an easy way to graph the mean response at a set of discrete time points. I mentioned that you can choose three options for the length of the "error bars": the standard deviation of the data,

It is always great to read an old paper or blog post and think, "This task is so much easier in SAS 9.4!" I had that thought recently when I stumbled on a 2007 paper by Wei Cheng titled "Graphical Representation of Mean Measurement over Time." A substantial portion of

I frequently see questions on SAS discussion forums about how to compute the geometric mean and related quantities in SAS. Unfortunately, the answers to these questions are sometimes confusing or even wrong. In addition, some published papers and web sites that claim to show how to calculate the geometric mean

There are several different kinds of means. They all try to find an average value from among a set of numbers. Although the most popular mean is the arithmetic mean, the geometric mean can be useful for problems in statistics, finance, and biology. A common application of the geometric mean

One of the strengths of the SAS/IML language is its flexibility. Recently, a SAS programmer asked how to generalize a program in a previous article. The original program solved one optimization problem. The reader said that she wants to solve this type of problem 300 times, each time using a