Overview of new features in SAS/IML 13.1


SAS software contains a lot of features, and each release adds more.To make sure that you do not miss new features that appear in the SAS/IML language, the word cloud on the right sidebar of my blog contains numbers that relate to SAS or SAS/IML releases. For example, you can click on "9.3" to read about features that first appeared in SAS 9.3. I have also written summaries of recent SAS/IML releases:

Over the past year I've blogged about features that were new to SAS/IML 13.1, which was released in December, 2013, as part of the first maintenance release of SAS 9.4 (SAS 9.4m1). This article collects all those blog posts together for easy reference.

New functions and subroutines in SAS/IML 13.1

The following blog posts discuss new functions and subroutines for data analysis in SAS/IML 13.1:

  • The CV function computes the sample coeficient of variation.
  • The SKEWNESS function computes the sample skewness.
  • The KURTOSIS function computes the sample kurtosis.
  • The LOGABSDET function computes the natural logarithm of the absolute value of the determinant of a matrix. (Say that three times fast!)
  • The PARENTNAME function enables a module to learn the name of a SAS/IML matrix that was passed in as an argument.

In addition, the SAS/IML 13.1 User's Guide documents two new functions for solving linear programming problems:

  • The LPSOLVE subroutine solve linear programming problems. LPSOLVE replaces the older LP call, which has been deprecated.
  • The MILPSOLVE subroutine is a new subroutine for solving mixed integer linear programming problems. It implements effective techniques for finding optimal solutions for linear objective functions that satisfy certain constraints.

New support for heat maps

There are also new routines for creating heat maps that visualize matrices. I produced a video about heat maps, as well as the following articles:

  • The HEATMAPCONT subroutine creates a heat map that uses a continuous color ramp to visualize a matrix.
  • The HEATMAPDISC subroutine creates a heat map that uses a discrete color ramp to visualize a matrix that contains a small number of distinct values.
  • The PALETTE function enables you to choose color palettes that reflect sound design principles.

Enhancements to functionality

There were several enhancements and language improvements in SAS/IML 13.1. For example, the ABORT and STOP statements now optionally print a user-defined message. Another change is that the order of resolution has changed for user-defined modules, so that it is easier to override built-in functions. I direct you to the "What's New" chapter of the documentation for additional new features.

It can be hard to keep up with enhancements to SAS software. Hopefully this reference page will be a useful to SAS/IML users who are upgrading their version of SAS. Have you used any of these new features? Leave a comment and tell me which is your favorite.


About Author

Rick Wicklin

Distinguished Researcher in Computational Statistics

Rick Wicklin, PhD, is a distinguished researcher in computational statistics at SAS and is a principal developer of SAS/IML software. 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.

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