Data Frame

Import Data using read.table function

Question: How I can check my Working Directory so that I would be able to import my data in R.
Answer: To find the working directory, the command getwd() can be used, that is

> getwd()

Question: How I can change the working directory to my own path.
Answer: Use function setwd(), that is

> setwd(“d:/mydata”)
> setwd(“C:/Users/XYZ/Documents”)

Question: I have data set stored in text format (ASCII) that contain rectangular data. How I can read this data in tabular form. I have already set my working directory.
Answer: As data is already in a directory, which is set as the working directory, use following command

> mydata <- read.table(“data.dat”)
> mydata <- read.table(“data.txt”)

mydata is named object that will have data from file “data.dat” or “data.txt” in data frame format. Each variable in the data file will be named by default V1, V2,…

Question: How this stored data can be to accessed?
Answer: To access the stored data, write data frame object name (“mydata”) with $ sign and name of the variable. That is,

> mydata$V1
> mydata$V2
> mydata[“V1”]
> mydata[ , 1]

Question: My data file has variables names in first row of the data file. In previous Question, variables names were V1, V2, V3, … How I can get actual names of the variable store in first row of data.dat file.
Answer: Instead of reading a data file with default values of arguments, use

> read.table(“data.dat”, header = TRUE)

Question: I want to read a data file which is not stored in the working directory?
Answer: To access the data file which is not stored in the working directory, provide complete path of the file, such as.

> read.table(“d:/data.dat” , header = TRUE)
> read.table(“d:/Rdata/data.txt” , header = TRUE)

Note that read.table() is used to read the data from external files that has a normally a special form:

  • The first line of the file should have a name for each variable in the data frame. However, if the first row does not contain the name of a variable then header argument should not be set to FALSE.
  • Each additional line of the file has its first item a row label and the values for each variable.

In R it is strongly suggested that variables need to be held in the data frame. For this purpose read.table() function can be used. For further details about read.table() function use,

> help(read.table)

Data Frame in R Language

Please load the required data set before running the commands given below in R FAQs related to the data frame. As an example for R FAQs about data frame, we are assuming iris data set that is available already in R. At R prompt write data(iris)

Question: How to name or rename a column in a data frame?
Answer: Suppose you want to change/ rename the 3rd column of the data frame, then on R prompt write

> names (iris)[,3] <- “new_name”

Suppose you want to change the second and third column of the data frame

> names(irisi)[c(2,4)] <- c(“A”, “D”)

Note that names(iris) command are used to find the names of each column in a data frame.

Question: How you can determine the column information of a data frame such as the “names, type, missing values” etc.?
Answer: There are two built-in functions in R to find the information about columns of a data frame.

> str(iris)
> summary(iris)

Question: How a data frame can be exported in R so that it can be used in other statistical software?
Answer: Use write.csv command to export the data in comma separated format (CSV).

> write.csv(iris, “iris.csv”, row.names = FALSE)

Question: How one can select a particular row or column of a data frame?
Answer: The easiest way is to use the indexing notation []

Suppose you want to select the first column only, then at R prompt, write

> iris[,1]

Suppose we want to select the first column and also want to put the content in a new vector, then

> new <- iris[,1]

Suppose you want to select different columns, for example, columns 1, 3, and 5, then

> newdata <- iris[, c(1, 3, 5)]

Suppose you want to select a first and third row, then

> iris[c(1,2), ]

Question: How to deal with missing values in a data frame?
Answer: In R language it is easy to deal with missing values. Suppose you want to import a file names “file.csv” that contains missing values represented by a “.” (period), then on R prompt write

> data <- read.csv(“file.csv”, na.string = “.”)

If missing values are represented as “NA” values then write

> dataset <- read.csv(“file.csv”, na.string = “NA”)

For the case of built-in data such (here iris), use

> data <- na.omit(iris)

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