[R] finding the intersection of two vectors

peter dalgaard pdalgd at gmail.com
Thu Jul 7 10:16:55 CEST 2011

On Jul 6, 2011, at 23:50 , David Winsemius wrote:

> On Jul 6, 2011, at 4:43 PM, Data Analytics Corp. wrote:
>> Hi,
>> Suppose I have two vectors, not necessarily the same length (in fact, they usually are different lengths): y.1 that has increasing values between 0 and 1; y.2 that has decreasing values between 1.0 and 0.  You can picture these as being supply (= y.1) and demand (= y.2) curves from economics.  I typically plot these vectors on the same graph against a common x variable, which happens to be price for what I do.  The price variable runs from, say, $0 to $25.  When I plot y.1 and y.2, I've been eye-balling a vertical line at a price point where y.1 intersects y.2.  I'm now tired of eye-balling a line through the intersection -- takes too much time to get it right or just close enough.  I can't figure out how to find the price value at which the two curves intersect.  Going back to the economics interpretation, I want the price where supply equals demand.  Any suggestions as to how I can find that price point in R?  Any functions that help?
> ?approxfun # or..
> ?splinefun  #  should allow you to make two functions and then solve for the X taht minimizes the difference.

With linear interpolation, uniroot()  on the difference between the two approxfun()s should get you there rather quickly. (Unless the curves are very smooth, I'd avoid splinefun  because of the risk of introducing oscillations.)

> -- 
> David Winsemius, MD
> West Hartford, CT
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Peter Dalgaard
Center for Statistics, Copenhagen Business School
Solbjerg Plads 3, 2000 Frederiksberg, Denmark
Phone: (+45)38153501
Email: pd.mes at cbs.dk  Priv: PDalgd at gmail.com

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