One purpose of principal component analysis (PCA) is to reduce the number of important variables in a data analysis. Thus, PCA is known as a dimension-reduction algorithm. I have written about four simple rules for deciding how many principal components (PCs) to keep. There are other methods for deciding how

## Tag: **Data Analysis**

"O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree, how lovely are your branches!" The idealized image of a Christmas tree is a perfectly straight conical tree with lush branches and no bare spots. Although this ideal exists only on Christmas cards, forest researchers are always trying to develop trees that approach the

I previously showed how to create a decile calibration plot for a logistic regression model in SAS. A decile calibration plot (or "decile plot," for short) is used in some fields to visualize agreement between the data and a regression model. It can be used to diagnose an incorrectly specified

To help visualize regression models, SAS provides the EFFECTPLOT statement in several regression procedures and in PROC PLM, which is a general-purpose procedure for post-fitting analysis of linear models. When scoring and visualizing a model, it is important to use reasonable combinations of the explanatory variables for the visualization. When

Intuitively, the skewness of a unimodal distribution indicates whether a distribution is symmetric or not. If the right tail has more mass than the left tail, the distribution is "right skewed." If the left tail has more mass, the distribution is "left skewed." Thus, estimating skewness requires some estimates about

The expected value of a random variable is essentially a weighted mean over all possible values. You can compute it by summing (or integrating) a probability-weighted quantity over all possible values of the random variable. The expected value is a measure of the "center" of a probability distribution. You can

The skewness of a distribution indicates whether a distribution is symmetric or not. The Wikipedia article about skewness discusses two common definitions for the sample skewness, including the definition used by SAS. In the middle of the article, you will discover the following sentence: In general, the [estimators] are both

A fundamental principle of data analysis is that a statistic is an estimate of a parameter for the population. A statistic is calculated from a random sample. This leads to uncertainty in the estimate: a different random sample would have produced a different statistic. To quantify the uncertainty, SAS procedures

I previously wrote about the RAS algorithm, which is a simple algorithm that performs matrix balancing. Matrix balancing refers to adjusting the cells of a frequency table to match known values of the row and column sums. Ideally, the balanced matrix will reflect the structural relationships in the original matrix.

A common operation in statistical data analysis is to center and scale a numerical variable. This operation is conceptually easy: you subtract the mean of the variable and divide by the variable's standard deviation. Recently, I wanted to perform a slight variation of the usual standardization: Perform a different standardization

I recently showed how to compute within-group multivariate statistics by using the SAS/IML language. However, a principal of good software design is to encapsulate functionality and write self-contained functions that compute and return the results. What is the best way to return multiple statistics from a SAS/IML module? A convenient

A previous article discusses the pooled variance for two or groups of univariate data. The pooled variance is often used during a t test of two independent samples. For multivariate data, the analogous concept is the pooled covariance matrix, which is an average of the sample covariance matrices of the

The first time I saw a formula for the pooled variance, I was quite confused. It looked like Frankenstein's monster, assembled from bits and pieces of other quantities and brought to life by a madman. However, the pooled variance does not have to be a confusing monstrosity. The verb "to

A SAS customer asked how to specify interaction effects between a classification variable and a spline effect in a SAS regression procedure. There are at least two ways to do this. If the SAS procedure supports the EFFECT statement, you can build the interaction term in the MODEL statement. For

I recently read an article that describes ways to compute confidence intervals for the difference in a percentile between two groups. In Eaton, Moore, and MacKenzie (2019), the authors describe a problem in hydrology. The data are the sizes of pebbles (grains) in rivers at two different sites. The authors

The Kullback–Leibler divergence is a measure of dissimilarity between two probability distributions. An application in machine learning is to measure how distributions in a parametric family differ from a data distribution. This article shows that if you minimize the Kullback–Leibler divergence over a set of parameters, you can find a

During this coronavirus pandemic, there are many COVID-related graphs and curves in the news and on social media. The public, politicians, and pundits scrutinize each day's graphs to determine which communities are winning the fight against coronavirus. Interspersed among these many graphs is the oft-repeated mantra, "Flatten the curve!" As

SAS programmers sometimes ask about ways to perform one-dimensional linear interpolation in SAS. This article shows three ways to perform linear interpolation in SAS: PROC IML (in SAS/IML software), PROC EXPAND (in SAS/ETS software), and PROC TRANSREG (in SAS/STAT software). Of these, PROC IML Is the simplest to use and

A previous article describes the funnel plot (Spiegelhalter, 2005), which can identify samples that have rates or proportions that are much different than expected. The funnel plot is a scatter plot that plots the sample proportion of some quantity against the size of the sample. The variance of the sample

Death is always a difficult topic to discuss, and death has been in the news a lot during this tragic coronavirus pandemic. Many news stories focus on states, counties, or cities that have the most cases or the most deaths. A related statistic is the case fatality rate, which is

A cumulative curve shows the total amount of some quantity at multiple points in time. Examples include: Total sales of songs, movies, or books, beginning when the item is released. Total views of blog posts, beginning when the post is published. Total cases of a disease for different countries, beginning

In a previous article, I discussed the binormal model for a binary classification problem. This model assumes a set of scores that are normally distributed for each population, and the mean of the scores for the Negative population is less than the mean of scores for the Positive population. I

A colleague recently posted an article about how to use SAS Visual Analytics to create a circular graph that displays a year's worth of temperature data. Specifically, the graph shows the air temperature for each day in a year relative to some baseline temperature, such as 65F (18C). Days warmer

A previous article shows how to interpret the collinearity diagnostics that are produced by PROC REG in SAS. The process involves scanning down numbers in a table in order to find extreme values. This can be a tedious and error-prone process. Friendly and Kwan (2009) compare this task to a

The Johnson system (Johnson, 1949) contains a family of four distributions: the normal distribution, the lognormal distribution, the SB distribution, and the SU distribution. Previous articles explain why the Johnson system is useful and show how to use PROC UNIVARIATE in SAS to estimate parameters for the Johnson SB distribution

Recently someone on social media asked, "how can I compute the required sample size for a binomial test?" I assume from the question that the researcher was designing an experiment to test the proportions between two groups, such as a control group and a treatment/intervention group. They wanted to know

In a previous article, I showed how to perform collinearity diagnostics in SAS by using the COLLIN option in the MODEL statement in PROC REG. For models that contain an intercept term, I noted that there has been considerable debate about whether the data vectors should be mean-centered prior to

The Johnson system (Johnson, 1949) contains a family of four distributions: the normal distribution, the lognormal distribution, the SB distribution (which models bounded distributions), and the SU distribution (which models unbounded distributions). Note that 'B' stands for 'bounded' and 'U' stands for 'unbounded.' A previous article explains the purpose of

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

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