When you implement a statistical algorithm in a vector-matrix language such as SAS/IML, R, or MATLAB, you should measure the performance of your implementation, which means that you should time how long a program takes to analyze data of varying sizes and characteristics. There are some general tips that can

## Tag: **Tips and Techniques**

The SAS analytical documentation has a new look. Beginning with the 14.2 release of the SAS analytical products (which shipped with SAS 9.4m4 in November 2016), the HTML version of the online documentation has moved to a new framework called the Help Center. The URL for the online documentation is

For SAS programmers, the PUT statement in the DATA step and the %PUT macro statement are useful statements that enable you to display the values of variables and macro variables, respectively. By default, the output appears in the SAS log. This article shares a few tips that help you to

Do you want to create customized SAS graphs by using PROC SGPLOT and the other ODS graphics procedures? An essential skill that you need to learn is how to merge, join, append, and concatenate SAS data sets that come from different sources. The SAS statistical graphics procedures (SG procedures) enable

Every year near Halloween I write an article in which I demonstrate a simple programming trick that is a real treat to use. This year's trick (which features the CMISS function and the crossproducts matrix in SAS/IML) enables you to count the number of observations that are missing for pairs

Graphs enable you to visualize how the predicted values for a regression model depend on the model effects. You can gain an intuitive understanding of a model by using the EFFECTPLOT statement in SAS to create graphs like the one shown at the top of this article. Many SAS regression

I got several positive comments about a recent tip, "How to fit a variety of logistic regression models in SAS." A reader asked if I knew any other similar resources about statistical analysis in SAS. Absolutely! One gem that comes to mind is "Examples of writing CONTRAST and ESTIMATE statements."

Optimization is a primary tool of computational statistics. SAS/IML software provides a suite of nonlinear optimizers that makes it easy to find an optimum for a user-defined objective function. You can perform unconstrained optimization, or define linear or nonlinear constraints for constrained optimization. Over the years I have seen many

SAS programmers sometimes ask, "How do I create a design matrix in SAS?" A design matrix is a numerical matrix that represents the explanatory variables in regression models. In simple models, the design matrix contains one column for each continuous variable and multiple columns (called dummy variables) for each classification

Last week Sanjay Matange wrote about a new SAS 9.4m3 option that enables you to show all categories in a graph legend, even when the data do not contain all the categories. Sanjay's example was a chart that showed medical conditions classified according to the scale "Mild," "Moderate," and "Severe."

A common question on SAS discussion forums is how to compute a moving average in SAS. This article shows how to use PROC EXPAND and contains links to articles that use the DATA step or macros to compute moving averages in SAS. In a previous post, I explained how to

Last week my colleague Chris Hemedinger published a blog post that described how to use the ODS LAYOUT GRIDDED statement to arrange tables and graphs in a panel. The statement was introduced in SAS 9.4m1 (December 2013). Gridded layout is supported for HTML, POWERPOINT, and the PRINTER family of destinations

Statistical programmers often need to evaluate complicated expressions that contain square roots, logarithms, and other functions whose domain is restricted. Similarly, you might need to evaluate a rational expression in which the denominator of the expression can be zero. In these cases, it is important to avoid evaluating a function

Every year near Halloween I write a trick-and-treat article in which I demonstrate a simple programming trick that is a real treat to use. This year's trick features two of my favorite functions, the CUSUM function and the LAG function. By using these function, you can compute the rows of

I've previously written about how to generate a sequence of evenly spaced points in an interval. Evenly spaced data is useful for scoring a regression model on an interval. In the previous articles the endpoints of the interval were hard-coded. However, it is common to want to evaluate a function

Statistical programmers often have to use the results from one SAS procedure as the input to another SAS procedure. Because ODS enables you to you to create a SAS data set from any ODS table or graph, it is easy to obtain a data set that contains the value of

The title of this blog post might seem strange, but I occasionally need to compute the number of digits in a number, usually because I am trying to stuff an integer value into a string. Each time, I have to derive the formula from scratch, so I am writing this

One of my presentations at SAS Global Forum 2015 was titled "Ten Tips for Simulating Data with SAS". The paper was published in the conference proceedings several months ago, but I recently recorded a short video that gives an overview of the 10 tips: If your browser does not support

When using SAS to format a number as a percentage, there is a little trick that you need to remember: the width of the formatted value must include room for the decimal point, the percent sign, and the possibility of two parentheses that indicate negative values. The field width must

Base SAS contains many functions for processing strings, and you can call these functions from within a SAS/IML program. However, sometimes a SAS/IML programmer needs to process a vector of strings. No problem! You can call most Base SAS functions with a vector of parameters. I have previously written about

I previously wrote about the best way to suppress output from SAS procedures. Suppressing output is necessary in simulation and bootstrap analyses, and it is useful in other contexts as well. In my previous article, I wrote, "many programmers use ODS _ALL_ CLOSE as a way to suppress output, but

SAS procedures can produce a lot of output, but you don't always want to see it all. In simulation and bootstrap studies, you might analyze 10,000 samples or resamples. Usually you are not interested in seeing the results of each analysis displayed on your computer screen. Instead, you want to

Did you know that if you have set multiple titles in SAS, that there is an easy way to remove them? For example, suppose that you've written the following statements, which call the TITLE statement to set three titles: title "A Great Big Papa Title"; title2 "A Medium-sized Mama Title";

When you have a long-running SAS/IML program, it is sometimes useful to be able to monitor the progress of the program. For example, suppose you need to computing statistics for 1,000 different data sets and each computation takes between 5 and 30 seconds. You might want to output a message

Friends have to look out for each other. Sometimes this can be slightly embarrassing. At lunch you might need to tell a friend that he has some tomato sauce on his chin. Or that she has a little spinach stuck between her teeth. Or you might need to tell your

The SAS DATA step supports multidimensional arrays. However, matrices in SAS/IML are like mathematical matrices: they are always two dimensional. In simulation studies you might need to generate and store thousands of matrices for a later statistical analysis of their properties. How can you accomplish that unless you can create

The other day I was creating some histograms inside a loop in PROC IML. It was difficult for me to determine which histogram was associated with which value of the looping variable. "No problem," I said. "I'll just use a TITLE statement inside the loop so that each histogram has

The other day I was doing some computations that caused me to wonder, "What is the smallest power of 2 that is greater than a given number?" The mathematics is straightforward. Given a number n, find the least value of k such that 2k ≥ n or, equivalently, k ≥

Many people know that the SAS/IML language enables you to read data from and write results to multiple SAS data sets. When you open a new data set, it is a good programming practice to close the previous data set. But did you know that you can have two data

I received the following email from a SAS/IML programmer: I am getting an error in a PROC IML module that I wrote. The SAS Log says NOTE: Paused in module NAME When I submit other commands, PROC IML doesn't seem to understand them. How can I continue the program? The