S-PLUS is a very flexible statistics package widely used amongst statisticians. It offers a plethora of statistical tools from areas such as classical estimation and testing, regression, analysis of variance, generalized linear models (GLM), multivariate statistics (principal component analysis, factor and cluster analysis), time series, survival analysis, robust methods (such as robust regression), CART, and also nonparametric regression and density estimation. Beside these statistical procedures, comprehensive graphical capabilities are available. S-PLUS is an authorised extension of the S language developed at AT&T Bell Labs. Like S, it permits object-oriented programming.
S is a cross between data analysis software and a programming language; the latter allows the user to extend the package by their own functions, leading to a high degree of flexibility. Furthermore, the source code of many built-in functions is available, allowing them to be modified and adapted. It is also quite easy for the user to include their own procedures written in Fortran or C.
S-PLUS is well-suited to interactive work. Its graphical capabilities make it superb for explorative data analysis, and its data management is easy to handle.
Beside the standard S-PLUS package, Insightful also (www.ch.insightful.com) offers supplementary modules. These are: S+Array Analyzer, S+Spatial Stats, S+Wavelets, Fame S+Connecter, S+for Arcview GIS, S+SeqTrial, S+EnvStats, S+NUOPT und S+FinMetrics. ETH Zurich has a site licence and can use these modules freely. Other Insightful products exist for data mining (Insightful Miner), deployment of S-PLUS analyses (Enterprise) and knowledge management (InFact). These are available from Insightful (email@example.com) on request.
ETH's license covers both Windows and Linux versions. S-PLUS has been available to ETH institutes since 1998, but nonetheless requires registration. You will find details on this at IDES.
You will find a short introduction to S-PLUS here.
The Introductory Guide to S-Plus by B.D. Ripley and W.N. Venables (68 pages; concepts with examples) is a commendable introduction. It can be obtained via StatLib (sguide.ps).
A good and detailed introduction is to be found in
The following are classical books on the S language, on which S-PLUS is based:
The Windows version contains all its manuals in the online help function. Sets of manuals are also available for reference at the Seminar for Statistics, HG G15, and can be used there. The documentation is very well-presented. Manuals can be ordered directly from Insightful.
There is a mailing list for S-PLUS users. To subscribe, please send an e-mail with the single line subscribe s-news to:
E-mails to the list can then be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many S-PLUS users bundle their (own) newly-created S-PLUS functions into libraries and offer them as free downloads. These sometimes cover cutting-edge statistical methods. Such functions can be found on the "Statlib"-Server, where entries on S and s-news can also be found.
The `emacs' editor contains a so-called `s-mode' (ESS, Emacs speaks statistics). This supports S-PLUS and enables its comfortable use.
There is also a link module between the geographical information system ARC/INFO and S-PLUS, available at ETH. For further information, please contact Mr. Curschmann at STB J11.1, Tel. 044 632 5578.
The R statistical software package
R is free statistical software closely related to S-PLUS and is available for download via the Internet. For more information, see here.
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