[R] Precision error in time index of ts objects
altomani.andrea at gmail.com
Sat Sep 2 13:20:55 CEST 2017
Thanks for the very detailed explanation.
I did not create the series using structure(), that was the result of
dump() on an intermediate object created within tsdisagg::ta(), which is
where I found the error in the first place. ta() indeed manipulates .Tsp
directly, rather than using ts. I guess this is a bug in tsdisagg then.
On Sat, Sep 2, 2017 at 12:31 AM Achim Zeileis <Achim.Zeileis at uibk.ac.at>
> On Fri, 1 Sep 2017, Andrea Altomani wrote:
> > I should have formulated my question in a more specific way.
> > 1. I suspect this is a floating point precision issue. I am not very
> > knowledgeable about R internals, can someone else confirm it?
> Yes. If you represent a series with increment 1/12 it depends on how you
> do it. As a simple example consider the following two descriptions of the
> same time point:
> 2 - 1/12
> ##  1.916667
> 1 + 11/12
> ##  1.916667
> However, both are not identical:
> (2 - 1/12) == (1 + 11/12)
> ##  FALSE
> The difference is just the .Machine$double.eps:
> (2 - 1/12) - (1 + 11/12)
> ##  2.220446e-16
> > 2. Should this be considered a bug or not, because it is "just a
> > precision issue"? Should I report it?
> I don't think it is a bug because of the (non-standard) way how you
> created the time series.
> > 3. How can it happen? From a quick review of ts.R, it looks like the
> > of the time index are never modified, but only possibly removed. In my
> > - x and y have the same index.
> > - the subtraction operator recognizes this, and create a new ts with
> > entry
> > - the result of the subtraction has an index which is different from
> > input.
> > This is very surprising to me, and I am curious to understand the
> The object 'x' and hence the object 'y' have the same time index. But in
> 'z' a new time index is created which is subtly different from that of
> 'x'. The reason for this is that R doesn't expect an object like 'x' to
> You should create a "ts" object with ts(), e.g.,
> x <- ts(2017, start = c(2017, 6), freqency = 12)
> But you created something close to the internal representation...but not
> close enough:
> y <- structure(2017, .Tsp = c(2017.416667, 2017.416667, 12), class = "ts")
> The print functions prints both print(x) and print(y) as
> 2017 2017
> However, aligning the two time indexes in x - y or ts.intersect(x, y) does
> not work...because they are not the same
> as.numeric(time(x)) - as.numeric(time(y))
> ##  -3.333332e-07
> The "ts" code tries to avoid these situations by making many time index
> comparisons only up to a precision of getOption("ts.eps") (1e-5 by
> default) but this is not used everywhere. See ?options:
> 'ts.eps': the relative tolerance for certain time series ('ts')
> computations. Default '1e-05'.
> Of course, you could ask for this being used in more places, e.g., in
> stats:::.cbind.ts() where (st > en) is used rather than ((st - en) >
> getOption("ts.eps")). But it's probably safer to just use ts() rather than
> structure(). Or if you use the latter make sure that you do at a high
> enough precision.
> > On Fri, Sep 1, 2017 at 5:53 PM Jeff Newmiller <jdnewmil at dcn.davis.ca.us>
> > wrote:
> >> You already know the answer. Why ask?
> >> --
> >> Sent from my phone. Please excuse my brevity.
> >> On September 1, 2017 7:23:24 AM PDT, Andrea Altomani <
> >> altomani.andrea at gmail.com> wrote:
> >>> I have a time series x, and two other series obtained from it:
> >>> x <- structure(2017, .Tsp = c(2017.41666666667, 2017.41666666667, 12),
> >>> class = "ts")
> >>> y <- floor(x)
> >>> z <- x-y
> >>> I would expect the three series to have exactly the same index.
> >>> However I get the following
> >>>> time(x)-time(y)
> >>> Jun
> >>> 2017 0
> >>> as expected, but
> >>>> time(x)-time(z)
> >>> integer(0)
> >>> Warning message:
> >>> In .cbind.ts(list(e1, e2), c(deparse(substitute(e1))[1L],
> >>> deparse(substitute(e2))[1L]), :
> >>> non-intersecting series
> >>> and indeed, comparing the indices gives:
> >>>> time(x)-time(z)
> >>>  3.183231e-12
> >>> Is this a bug in R, or is it one of the expected precision errors due
> >>> to the use of limited precision floats?
> >>> I am using R 3.4.0 (2017-04-21) on Windows (64-bit).
> >>> Thaks!
> >>> Andrea Altomani
> >>> ______________________________________________
> >>> R-help at r-project.org mailing list -- To UNSUBSCRIBE and more, see
> >>> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
> >>> PLEASE do read the posting guide
> >>> http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
> >>> and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.
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> > ______________________________________________
> > R-help at r-project.org mailing list -- To UNSUBSCRIBE and more, see
> > https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
> > PLEASE do read the posting guide
> > and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.
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