[R] Hierarchical factors

Ista Zahn istazahn at gmail.com
Mon May 3 15:57:36 CEST 2010

Hi Marshell,
What exactly do you mean by "handles this kind of data structure"?
What do you want R to do?


On Mon, May 3, 2010 at 9:44 AM, Marshall Feldman <marsh at uri.edu> wrote:
> Hello,
> Hierarchical factors are a very common data structure. For instance, one
> might have municipalities within states within countries within
> continents. Other examples include occupational codes, biological
> species, software types (R within statistical software within analytical
> software), etc.
> Such data structures commonly use hierarchical coding systems. For
> example, the 2007 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS)
> <http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/sssd/naics/naicsrch?chart=2007>has twenty
> two-digit codes (e.g., 42 = Wholesale trade), within each of these
> varying numbers of 3-digit codes (e.g., 423 = Merchant wholesalers,
> durable goods), then varying numbers of 4-digit codes (4231 = Motor
> Vehicle and Motor Vehicle Parts and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers), then
> varying numbers of five-digit codes, varying numbers of six-digit codes,
> etc. At the lowest level (longest code) one can readily tell all the
> higher levels. For example, 441222 is "Boat Dealers" who are part of
> 44122, "Motorcycle, Boat, and Other Motor Vehicle Dealers," which is
> part of 4412 (Other Motor Vehicle Dealers), which is part of 441 (Motor
> Vehicle and Parts Dealers), which is part of 44 (Retail Trade). (The US
> Census Bureau has extended the 6-digit NAICS to an even more
> fine-grained 10-digit system.)
> I haven't seen any R packages or sample code that handles this kind of
> data, but I don't want to reinvent the wheel and would rather stand on
> the shoulders of you giants. Is there any package or other R-based
> software out there that handles this kind of data structure?
>     Thanks,
>     Marsh Feldman
>        [[alternative HTML version deleted]]
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Ista Zahn
Graduate student
University of Rochester
Department of Clinical and Social Psychology

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