[R] What does the "<<-" operator mean?

Cliff Clive cliffclive at gmail.com
Thu Apr 21 21:08:37 CEST 2011

I've been reading some code from an example in a blog post (
http://www.maxdama.com/ here ) and I came across an operator that I hadn't
seen before.  The author used a <<- operator to update a variable, like so:

ecov_xy <<- ecov_xy+decay*(x[t]*y[t]-ecov_xy)

At first I thought it was a mistake and tried replacing it with the usual <-
assignment operator, but I didn't get the same results.  So what does the
double arrow <<- operator do?

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