4. Intermediate Data Structures in R
Fundamentals of R
This module looks at more complex data structures, building on what was covered in the beginner data structures module.
The objectives of this module are to provide you with an understanding of:
- Different data types
- How to coerce elements, and force coercion
- How to construct a matrix
- How to construct an array
- How to construct a list
Aimed at all who wish to learn the R programming language.
No prior knowledge of R is assumed. Delegates should already be familiar with basic programming concepts such as variables, scope, and functions. Experience of another scripting language such as Python or Perl would be an advantage. Understanding mathematical concepts will be beneficial.
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- [Instructor] It is said that everything in R is an object. There are some basic data types that form the advanced data structures that we can have in R, so let's start by explaining what they are. The first would be characters such as strings. Complex numbers, which are made up of real and imaginary numbers. The numeric data type forms either real numbers or decimal numbers. Specifically we can have integers if we add capital L to an element. And finally logical data types, which include Booleans such as true, false.
Let's examine some of the features of these objects. If I was to enter in the number two, and ask for the class of this, I can find out the class of the object by using the class function, informing me that this is a numeric. I may be inclined to know how it is being stored or what the type of this data is, I could ask for the type of this. I can also ask for a feature such as the length. Now in this case we have a vector of one in number of entries, i.e. the dimensions or how long this item is, so we'll see a return of one. I can repeat this for say for example a vector ranging from one to three, and we can say what is the class of this vector. It's the same as if I was using A the class of the number two, or the class of the vector of integers. Again, with the type we have two being a type of two double, and the type of the vector is also double, 'cause we're asking for the type of the data. If I was to ask now for the length, this may be showing us a different answer, because this will ask for the length of the entire vector, which would return three.
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