[R] (Another) Bates fortune?

Peter Dalgaard p.dalgaard at biostat.ku.dk
Fri Feb 5 21:56:53 CET 2010

Peter Ehlers wrote:
> I vote to 'fortunize' Doug Bates on
>  Hierarchical data sets: which software to use?
> "The widespread use of spreadsheets or SPSS data sets or SAS data sets
> which encourage the "single table with a gargantuan number of columns,
> most of which are missing data in most cases" approach to organization
> of longitudinal data is regrettable."
> http://n4.nabble.com/Hierarchical-data-sets-which-software-to-use-td1458477.html#a1470430 

Hmm, well, it's not like "long format" data frames (which I actually 
think are more common in connection with SAS's PROC MIXED) are much 
better. Those tend to replicate base data unnecessarily - "as if rats 
change sex with millisecond resolution". The correct data structure 
would be a relational database with multiple levels of tables, but, to 
my knowledge, no statistical software, including R, is prepared to deal 
with data in that form.

    O__  ---- Peter Dalgaard             Øster Farimagsgade 5, Entr.B
   c/ /'_ --- Dept. of Biostatistics     PO Box 2099, 1014 Cph. K
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~~~~~~~~~~ - (p.dalgaard at biostat.ku.dk)              FAX: (+45) 35327907

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