Author

Rick Wicklin
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Distinguished Researcher in Computational Statistics

Rick Wicklin, PhD, is a distinguished researcher in computational statistics at SAS and is a principal developer of PROC IML and SAS/IML Studio. His areas of expertise include computational statistics, simulation, statistical graphics, and modern methods in statistical data analysis. Rick is author of the books Statistical Programming with SAS/IML Software and Simulating Data with SAS.

Analytics | Learn SAS
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Principal component regression in SAS

A common question on discussion forums is how to compute a principal component regression in SAS. One reason people give for wanting to run a principal component regression is that the explanatory variables in the model are highly correlated which each other, a condition known as multicollinearity. Although principal component

Programming Tips
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Order correlations by magnitude

Correlations between variables are typically displayed in a matrix. Because the correlation matrix is determined by the order of the variables, it is difficult to find the largest and smallest correlations, which is why analysts sometimes use colors to visualize the correlation matrix. Another visualization option is the pairwise correlation

Learn SAS | Programming Tips
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Data-driven simulation

In a large simulation study, it can be convenient to have a "control file" that contains the parameters for the study. My recent article about how to simulate multivariate normal clusters demonstrates a simple example of this technique. The simulation in that article uses an input data set that contains

Data Visualization | Learn SAS
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The path of zip codes

Toe bone connected to the foot bone, Foot bone connected to the leg bone, Leg bone connected to the knee bone,...              — American Spiritual, "Dem Bones" Last week I read an interesting article on Robert Kosara's data visualization blog. Kosara connected the geographic centers of the US zip codes in

Analytics | Programming Tips
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Symbolic derivatives in SAS

Did you know that you can get SAS to compute symbolic (analytical) derivatives of simple functions, including applying the product rule, quotient rule, and chain rule? SAS can form the symbolic derivatives of single-variable functions and partial derivatives of multivariable functions. Furthermore, the derivatives are output in a form that

Analytics
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7 ways to view correlation

Correlation is a fundamental statistical concept that measures the linear association between two variables. There are multiple ways to think about correlation: geometrically, algebraically, with matrices, with vectors, with regression, and more. To paraphrase the great songwriter Paul Simon, there must be 50 ways to view your correlation! But don't

Advanced Analytics
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The singular value decomposition: A fundamental technique in multivariate data analysis

The singular value decomposition (SVD) could be called the "billion-dollar algorithm" since it provides the mathematical basis for many modern algorithms in data science, including text mining, recommender systems (think Netflix and Amazon), image processing, and classification problems. Although the SVD was mathematically discovered in the late 1800s, computers have

Programming Tips
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The arithmetic-geometric mean

All statisticians are familiar with the classical arithmetic mean. Some statisticians are also familiar with the geometric mean. Whereas the arithmetic mean of n numbers is the sum divided by n, the geometric mean of n nonnegative numbers is the n_th root of the product of the numbers. The geometric

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What is rank correlation?

When someone refers to the correlation between two variables, they are probably referring to the Pearson correlation, which is the standard statistic that is taught in elementary statistics courses. Elementary courses do not usually mention that there are other measures of correlation. Why would anyone want a different estimate of

Learn SAS | Programming Tips
Rick Wicklin 0
Flip it. Flip it good.

A SAS user needed to convert a program from MATLAB into the SAS/IML matrix language and asked whether there is a SAS/IML equivalent to the fliplr and flipud functions in MATLAB. These functions flip the columns or rows (respectively) of a matrix; "LR" stands for "left-right" and "UD" stands for

Programming Tips
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Random segments and broken sticks

A classical problem in elementary probability asks for the expected lengths of line segments that result from randomly selecting k points along a segment of unit length. It is both fun and instructive to simulate such problems. This article uses simulation in the SAS/IML language to estimate solutions to the

Analytics
Rick Wicklin 0
A quantile definition for skewness

Skewness is a measure of the asymmetry of a univariate distribution. I have previously shown how to compute the skewness for data distributions in SAS. The previous article computes Pearson's definition of skewness, which is based on the standardized third central moment of the data. Moment-based statistics are sensitive to

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