List in R Language

In R language, list is an object that consists of an ordered collection of objects known as its components. A list in R Language is a structured data that can have any number of any modes (types) of other structured data. That is, one can put any kind of object (like vector, data frame, character object, matrix and/ or array) into one list object.An example of list is

> x <- list(c(1,2,3,5), c(“a”, “b”, “c”, “d”), c(T, T, F, T, F), matrix(1:9, nr = 3) )

that contains 4 components, three of them are vectors (numeric, string and a logical) and one of them is matrix.

An object can also be converted to list by using as.list( ) function. For vector, the disadvantage is that each element of vector becomes a component of that list. For example,

> as.list (1: 10)

Extract components from a list

The operator [[ ]] (double square bracket) is used to extract the components of a list. To extract the second component of list, one can write at R prompt,

> list[[2]]

Using [ ] operator return a list rather than the structured data (component of the list). The component of the list need not to be of the same mode. The components are always numbered. If x1 is the name of a list with four components, then individual components may be referred to as x1[[1]], x1[[2]], x1[[3]], and x1[[4]].

If component of a list are defined then these component can be extracted by using the name of components. For example, a list with named component is

> x1 <- list(a = c(1,2,3,5), b = c(“a”, “b”, “c”, “d”), c = c(T, T, F, T, F), d = matrix(1:9, nr = 3) )

To extract the component a, one can write

> x1$a
> x1[“a”]
> x1[[“a”]]

To extract more than one component, one can write

> x[c(1,2)]    #extract component one and two
> x[-1]         #extract all component except 1st
> x[[c(1,2)]] #extract 2nd element of component one
> x[[c(2,2)]] #extract 2nd element of component two
> x[[c(2:4)]] #extract all elements of component 2 to 4

R workspace, object and .RData file

The R program’s structure is similar to the programs written in other computer languages such as C or its successors C++ and Java. However, important differences between these languages and R are (i) R has no header files, (ii) most of the declarations are implicit, (iii) there are no pointers in R, and (iv) text and strings as vectors can be defined and manipulated directly.

R is a functional language. Most of the computation in R is handled using functions. The R language environment is designed to facilitate the development of new scientific computation tools.

Every thing (such as functions and data structure) in R is an object. Too see the names of all objects in R workspace, on R command prompt just type,


objects() is an alternative to ls() function. Similarly, typing the name of any object on R prompt displays (prints) the content of that object. As an example type q, mean, and lm etc. on R prompt.

It is possible to save individual object or collection of objects into a named image file. The named image file have extension of .RData. Som e possibilities to save object from R workspace are:

To save content of R workspace into a file .RData, type

> save.image()

To save objects in file archive.RData, type

> save.image(file = “archive.RData”)

To save some required objects in data.RData, type

> save(x, y, file = “data.RData”)

These image files can be attached to make objects available in the next R session. For example.

> attached (“arvhive.RData”)

R workspace

Note that when quitting, R offers the option of saving workspace image. By default workspace is saved in an image file (.RData) in working directory. The image file can e used in the next R session. Saving the workspace image will save everything from current workspace. Therefore, use rm() function to remove objects that are not further required in next R session.

For further details about saving and loading R workspace visit:

mctest: An R package for Detection of Collinearity among Regressors

The problem of multicollinearity plagues the numerical stability of regression estimates. It also causes some serious problem in validation and interpretation of the regression model. Consider the usual multiple linear regression model,

y = X \beta+u,

where y is an n\times 1 vector of observation on dependent variable, X is known design matrix of order \times p, having full-column rank p, \beta is p \times 1 vector of unknown parameters and u is an n\times 1 vector of random errors with mean zero and variance \sigma^2 I_n, where I_n is an identity matrix of order n.

Existence of linear dependence (relationship) between regressors can affect the regression model ability to estimate the model’s parameters (regression coefficients). Therefore, multicollinearity is lack of independence or the presence of interdependence signified by usually high inter-correlations within a set of regressors (predictors).

In case of sever multicollinearity (ill-conditioning) of X'X matrix, implausible signs, low t-ratios, high R-squared values, inflated standard errors, wider confidence intervals, very large condition number (CN) and non-significant and/or magnitude of regression coefficient estimates are some of possible issues.

There are many diagnostic methods are available to check the existence of collinearity among regressors, such as variance inflation Factor (VIF), values of pair-wise correlation among regressors, eigenvalues, CN, Farrar and Glauber tests, Theil’s measure, klein’s rule etc.

Our recently developed R package mctest computes several diagnostic measures to test the existence of collinearity among regressors. We classified these measures as individual collinearity diagnostic and overall collinearity diagnostics. Overall collinearity diagnostic include determinant of X'X matrix, red indicator, Farrar Chi-Square test, Theil indicator, CN, and sum of lambda inverse values. Individual collinearity diagnostics include VIF/ TOL, Farrar and Glaube Wi test, relationship between $R^2$ and F-test, corrected VIF (CVIF) and Klein’s rule.

How to use mctest package

You must have installed and load the mctest package to start with testing of collinearity among regressors. As an example, we used Hald data which is already bundled in mctest package.

mctest package have 4 functions namely, mctest(), omcdiag(), imcdiag() and mc.plot() functions. The mctest() function can be used to have overall and/or individual collinearity diagnostic. The mc.plot() can be used to draw graph of VIF and eigenvalues to have graphical judgement of among collinearity among regressors.

mctest illustrative Example
The argument of mctest is

mctest(x, y, type = c(“o”, “I”, “b”), na.rm = TRUE, Inter = TRUE, method = NULL, corr = FALSE, detr = 0.01, red = 0.5, theil = 0.5, cn = 30, vif = 10, tol = 0.1, conf = 0.95, cvif = 10, leamer = 0.1, all = all)

For detail of each argument see the mctest package documentation. Following are few commands that can be used get different collinearity diagnostics.

x<-Hald[ ,-1]  # X variables from Hald data
> y<-Hald[ ,1]   # y variable from Hald data
> mctest(x, y)   # default collinearity diagnostics
> mctest(x, y, type = “i”)  # individual collinearity diagnostics
> mctest(x, y, type = “o”) # overall collinearity diagnostics

Overall collinearity diagnostics

For overall collinearity diagnostics, eigenvalues and condition numbers are also produced either intercept term is included or not. The syntax of omcdiag() function is

omcdiag(x, y, na.rm = TRUE, Inter = True, detr = 0.01, red = 0.5, conf = 0.95, theil = 0.5, cn = 30, …)

Determinant of correlation matrix, Farrar test of Chi-square, Red indicator, sum of lambda inverse values, Theils’ indicator and CN.

> omcdiag(x, y, Inter=FALSE)
> omcdiag(x, y)[1]
> omcidag(x,y, detr=0.001, conf=0.99)

The output of last command (with threshold for determinant and confidence interval for Farrar and Glauber test).

mctest: overall collinearity diagnostics

Individual collinearity diagnostics

imcdiag(x, y, method = NULL, na.rm = TRUE, corr = FALSE, vif = 10, tol = 0.1, conf = 0.95, cvif = 10, leamer = 0.1, all = all)

The imcdiag() function detects the existence of multicollinearity due to certain X-variable. This includes VIF, TOL, Klein’s rule, CVIF, F&G test of Chi-square and F-test.

> imcdiag(x = x, y)
> imcdiag(x = x, y, corr = TRUE) # correlation matrix
> imcdiag(x = x, y, vif = 5, leamer = 0.05)   # with threshold of VIF and leamer method

mctest: individual collinearity diagnostics
> imcdiag(x = x, y, all = True)
> imcdiag(x = x, y, all = TRUE, vif = 5, leamer = 0.2, cvif = 5)

mctest: individual collinearity diagnostics

Graphical representation of VIF and Eigenvalues

> mc.plot(x, y, Inter = FALSE, vif = 10, ev = 0.01)
> mc.plot(x, y)
> mc.plot(x, y, vif = 5, ev =  0.2)

mctest: collinearity diagnostic measures

For further detail about collinearity diagnostic see

Statistical Models in R Language

R language provides an interlocking suite of facilities that make fitting statistical models very simple. The output from statistical models in R language is minimal and one needs to ask for the details by calling extractor functions.

Defining Statistical Models; Formulae in R Language

The template for a statistical model is a linear regression model with independent, heteroscedastic errors, that is
\sum_{j=0}^p \beta_j x_{ij}+ e_i, \quad e_i \sim NID(0, \sigma^2), \quad i=1,2,\dots, n, j=1,2,\cdots, p

In matrix form, statistical model can be written as
where the y is the dependent (response) variable, X is the model matrix or design matrix (matrix of regressors) and has columns x_0, x_1, \cdots, x_p, the determining variables with intercept term. Usually x_0 is a column of ones defining an intercept term in statistical model.

Statistical Model Examples
Suppose y, x, x_0, x_1, x_2, \cdots are numeric variables, X is a matrix. Following are some examples that specify statistical models in R.

  • y ~ x    or   y ~ 1 + x
    Both examples imply the same simple linear regression model of y on x. The first formulae has an implicit intercept term and the second formulae has an explicit intercept term.
  • y ~ 0 + x  or  y ~ -1 + x  or y ~ x – 1
    All these imply the same simple linear regression model of y on x through the origin, that is, without an intercept term.
  • log(y) ~ x1 + x2
    Imply multiple regression of the transformed variable, $latex(log(y)$ on x_1 and x_2 with an implicit intercept term.
  • y ~ poly(x , 2)  or  y ~ 1 + x + I(x, 2)
    Imply a polynomial regression model of $latex$ y on $ latex x$ of degree 2 (second degree polynomials) and the second formulae uses explicit powers as basis.
  • y~ X + poly(x, 2)
    Multiple regression y with model matrix consisting of the design matrix X as well as polynomial terms in x to degree 2.

Note that the operator ~ is used to define a model formula in R language. The form of an ordinary linear regression model is, response\,\, ~ \,\, op_1\,\, term_1\,\, op_2\,\, term_2\,\, op_3\,\, term_3\,\, \cdots ,


response is a vector or matrix defining the response (dependent) variable(s).
op_i is an operator, either + or -, implying the inclusion or exclusion of a term in the model. The + operator is optional.
term_i is either a matrix or vector or 1. It may be a factor or a formula expression consisting of factors, vectors or matrices connected by formula operators.

How to View Source Code of R Method/ Function?

Source Code of R Method

There are different ways to view the source code of an R method or function. It will help to know how function is working.

Internal Functions
If you want to see the source code of internal function (functions from base packages), just type the name of the function at R prompt such as;

> rowMeans
view R code of method

Functions or Methods from S3 Class System
For S3 classes, methods function can be used to list the methods for a particular generic function or class.

> methods(predict)

view R code S3 Class
Note that “Non-Visible functions are asterisked” means that the function is not exported from its package’s namespace.

One can still view its source code via the ::: function such as

> stats:::predict.lm

or by using getAnywhere() function, such as

> getAnywhere(predict.lm)

Note that the getAnywhere() function is useful as you don’t need to know from which package the function or method is came from.

Functions or Methods from S4 Class System
The S4 system is a newer method dispatch system and is an alternative to the S3 system. The package ‘Matrix’ is an example of S4 function.

> library(Matrix)
> chol2inv
view R code S4 Class
The output already offers a lot of information. The standardGeneric is an indicator of an S4 function. The method to see defined S4 methods is to use showMethods(chol2inv), that is;

view R code S4 System
The getMethod can be used to see the source code of one of the methods, such as,
> getMethod (“chol2inv”, “diagonalMatrix”)
view R code S4 System
Functions that Calls Unexported Functions
In the case of unexported functions such as ts.union, .cbindts and .makeNamesTs from the stats namespace, one can view source code of these unexported functions using ::: operator or getAnywhere() function, for example;
> stats::: .makeNamesTs
> getAnywhere(.makeNamesTs)
view R code S4 System
View on Youtube

%d bloggers like this: