RE: Wow, Python much faster than MatLab

Discussion in 'Python' started by Doran, Harold, Dec 30, 2006.

  1. R is the open-source implementation of the S language developed at Bell
    laboratories. It is a statistical programming language that is becoming
    the de facto standard among statisticians. Rpy is what allows an
    interface between python and the R language.

    Harold

    > -----Original Message-----
    > From: python-list-bounces+hdoran=
    > [mailto:python-list-bounces+hdoran=] On
    > Behalf Of Stef Mientki
    > Sent: Saturday, December 30, 2006 9:24 AM
    > To:
    > Subject: Re: Wow, Python much faster than MatLab
    >
    > Mathias Panzenboeck wrote:
    > > A other great thing: With rpy you have R bindings for python.

    >
    > forgive my ignorance, what's R, rpy ?
    > Or is only relevant for Linux users ?
    >
    > cheers
    > Stef
    >
    > > So you have the power of R and the easy syntax and big

    > standard lib of
    > > python! :)

    > --
    > http://mail.python.org/mailman/listinfo/python-list
    >
     
    Doran, Harold, Dec 30, 2006
    #1
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  2. Doran, Harold

    Stef Mientki Guest

    Doran, Harold wrote:
    > R is the open-source implementation of the S language developed at Bell
    > laboratories. It is a statistical programming language that is becoming
    > the de facto standard among statisticians.

    Thanks for the information
    I always thought that SPSS or SAS where thé standards.
    Stef
     
    Stef Mientki, Dec 30, 2006
    #2
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  3. Doran, Harold

    John J. Lee Guest

    Stef Mientki <> writes:

    > Doran, Harold wrote:
    > > R is the open-source implementation of the S language developed at Bell
    > > laboratories. It is a statistical programming language that is becoming
    > > the de facto standard among statisticians.

    > Thanks for the information
    > I always thought that SPSS or SAS where thé standards.
    > Stef


    The 'SS' in SPSS stands for Social Science, IIRC. Looking at the lack
    of mention of that on their website, though, and the prominent use of
    the "E word" there, they have obviously grown out of (or want to grow
    out of) their original niche.

    Googling, SAS's market seems to be mostly in the business / financial
    worlds.

    No doubt R's community differs from those, though I don't know exactly
    how. From the long list of free software available for it, it sure
    seems popular with some people:

    http://www.stats.bris.ac.uk/R/


    John
     
    John J. Lee, Dec 30, 2006
    #3
  4. Doran, Harold

    Guest

    R is the free version of the S language. S-PLUS is a commercial version.
    Both are targeted at statisticians per se. Their strengths are in
    exploratory data analysis (in my opinion).

    SAS has many statistical featues, and is phenomenally well-documented and
    supported. One of its great strengths is the robustness of its data model
    -- very well suited to large sizes, repetitive inputs, industrial-strength
    data processing with a statistics slant. Well over 200 SAS books,for
    example.

    I think of SAS and R as being like airliners and helicopters -- airlines get
    the job done, and well, as long as it's well-defined and nearly the same job
    all the time. Helicopters can go anywhere, do anything, but a moment's
    inattention leads to a crash.
     
    , Dec 30, 2006
    #4
  5. Doran, Harold

    Stef Mientki Guest

    > I think of SAS and R as being like airliners and helicopters --
    I like that comparison,...
    ... Airplanes are inherent stable,
    ... Helicopters are inherent not-stable ;-)

    cheers,
    Stef
     
    Stef Mientki, Dec 30, 2006
    #5
  6. On 12/31/06, <> wrote:
    > R is the free version of the S language. S-PLUS is a commercial version.
    > Both are targeted at statisticians per se. Their strengths are in
    > exploratory data analysis (in my opinion).
    >
    > SAS has many statistical featues, and is phenomenally well-documented and
    > supported. One of its great strengths is the robustness of its data model
    > -- very well suited to large sizes, repetitive inputs, industrial-strength
    > data processing with a statistics slant. Well over 200 SAS books,for
    > example.
    >
    > I think of SAS and R as being like airliners and helicopters -- airlines get
    > the job done, and well, as long as it's well-defined and nearly the same job
    > all the time. Helicopters can go anywhere, do anything, but a moment's
    > inattention leads to a crash.
    > --


    inattention leading to a crash? I don't get it. I used SAS for about 3
    or 4 years, and have used S-Plus and then R for 10 years (R for 8
    years now). I've never noticed inattention leading to a crash. I've
    noticed I cannot get away in R without a careful definition of what I
    want (which is good), and the immediate interactivity of R is very
    helpful with mistakes. And of course, programming in R is, well,
    programming in a reasonable language. Programming in SAS is ... well,
    programming in SAS (which is about as fun as programming in SPSS).

    (Another email somehow suggested that the stability/instability
    analogy of airplanes vs. helicopters does apply to SAS vs. R. Again, I
    don't really get it. Sure, SAS is very stable. But so is R ---one
    common complaint is getting seg faults because package whatever has
    memory leaks, but that is not R's fault, but rather the package's
    fault).

    But then, this might start looking a lot like a flame war, which is
    actually rather off-topic for this list.


    Anyway, for a Python programmer, picking up R should be fairly easy.
    And rpy is really a great way of getting R and Python to talk to each
    other. We do this sort of thing quite a bit on our applications.

    And yes, R is definitely available for both Linux and Windows (and
    Mac), has excellent support from several editors in those platforms
    (e.g., emacs + ess, tinn-R, etc), and seems to be becoming a de facto
    standard at least in statistical research and is extremely popular in
    bioinformatics and among statisticians who do bioinformatics (look at
    bioconductor.org).


    Ramon


    --
    Ramon Diaz-Uriarte
    Statistical Computing Team
    Structural Biology and Biocomputing Programme
    Spanish National Cancer Centre (CNIO)
    http://ligarto.org/rdiaz
     
    Ramon Diaz-Uriarte, Dec 31, 2006
    #6
  7. Doran, Harold

    sturlamolden Guest

    Stef Mientki wrote:

    > I always thought that SPSS or SAS where thé standards.
    > Stef


    As far as SPSS is a standard, it is in the field of "religious use of
    statistical procedures I don't understand (as I'm a math retard), but
    hey p<0.05 is always significant (and any other value is proof of the
    opposite ... I think)."

    SPSS is often used by scientists that don't understand maths at all,
    often within the fields of social sciences, but regrettably also within
    biology and medicine. I know of few program that have done so much harm
    as SPSS. It's like handing an armed weapon to a child. Generally one
    should stay away from the things that one don't understand,
    particularly within medicine where a wrong result can have dramatic
    consequences. SPSS encourages the opposite. Copy and paste from Excel
    to SPSS is regrettably becoming the de-facto standard in applied
    statistics. The problem is not the quality of Excel or SPSS, but rather
    the (in)competence of those conducting the data analysis. This can and
    does regrettably lead to serious misinterpretation of the data, in
    either direction. When a paper is submitted, these errors are usually
    not caught in the peer review process, as peer review is, well, exactly
    what is says: *peer* review.

    Thus, SPSS makes it easy to shoot your self in the foot. In my
    experience students in social sciences and medicine are currently
    thought to do exact that, in universities and colleges all around the
    World. And it is particularly dangerous within medical sciences, as
    peoples' life and health may be affected by it. I pray God something is
    done to prohibit or limit the use of these statistical toys.


    Sturla Molden
    PhD
     
    sturlamolden, Dec 31, 2006
    #7
  8. Doran, Harold

    Wensui Liu Guest

    Sturla,

    I am working in the healthcare and seeing people loves to use excel /
    spss as database or statistical tool without know what he/she is
    doing. However, that is not the fault of excel/spss itself but of
    people who is using it. Things, even include SAS/R, would look stupid,
    when it has been misused.

    In the hospitals, people don't pray God. They pray MD. :)

    On 30 Dec 2006 19:09:59 -0800, sturlamolden <> wrote:
    >
    > Stef Mientki wrote:
    >
    > > I always thought that SPSS or SAS where thé standards.
    > > Stef

    >
    > As far as SPSS is a standard, it is in the field of "religious use of
    > statistical procedures I don't understand (as I'm a math retard), but
    > hey p<0.05 is always significant (and any other value is proof of the
    > opposite ... I think)."
    >
    > SPSS is often used by scientists that don't understand maths at all,
    > often within the fields of social sciences, but regrettably also within
    > biology and medicine. I know of few program that have done so much harm
    > as SPSS. It's like handing an armed weapon to a child. Generally one
    > should stay away from the things that one don't understand,
    > particularly within medicine where a wrong result can have dramatic
    > consequences. SPSS encourages the opposite. Copy and paste from Excel
    > to SPSS is regrettably becoming the de-facto standard in applied
    > statistics. The problem is not the quality of Excel or SPSS, but rather
    > the (in)competence of those conducting the data analysis. This can and
    > does regrettably lead to serious misinterpretation of the data, in
    > either direction. When a paper is submitted, these errors are usually
    > not caught in the peer review process, as peer review is, well, exactly
    > what is says: *peer* review.
    >
    > Thus, SPSS makes it easy to shoot your self in the foot. In my
    > experience students in social sciences and medicine are currently
    > thought to do exact that, in universities and colleges all around the
    > World. And it is particularly dangerous within medical sciences, as
    > peoples' life and health may be affected by it. I pray God something is
    > done to prohibit or limit the use of these statistical toys.
    >
    >
    > Sturla Molden
    > PhD
    >
    > --
    > http://mail.python.org/mailman/listinfo/python-list
    >



    --
    WenSui Liu
    A lousy statistician who happens to know a little programming
    (http://spaces.msn.com/statcompute/blog)
     
    Wensui Liu, Dec 31, 2006
    #8
  9. Doran, Harold

    sturlamolden Guest

    Wensui Liu wrote:

    > doing. However, that is not the fault of excel/spss itself but of
    > people who is using it.


    Yes and no. I think SPSS makes it too tempting. Like children playing
    with fire, they may not even know it's dangerous. You can do an GLM in
    SPSS by just filling out a form - but how many social scientists or MDs
    know anything about general linear models?

    The command line interface of MySQL, SAS, Matlab and R makes an
    excellent deterrent. All statistical tool can be misused. But the
    difference is accidental and deliberate misuse. Anyone can naviagte a
    GUI, but you need to know you want to do an ANOVA before you can think
    of typing "anova" on the command line.

    You mentioned use of Excel as database. That is another example,
    although it has more to do with data security and integrity, and
    sometimes protection of privacy. Many companies have banned the use of
    Microsoft Access, as employees were building their own mock up
    databases - thus migrating these Access databases to an even worse
    solution (Excel).

    Sturla Molden
     
    sturlamolden, Dec 31, 2006
    #9
  10. Doran, Harold

    Guest

    We're not so far apart.

    I've used SAS or 25 years, and R/S-PLUS for 10.

    I think you've said it better than I did, though: R requires more attention
    (which is often needed).

    I certainly didn't mean that R crashed - just an indictment of how much I
    thought I was holding in my head.

    Gerry
     
    , Jan 1, 2007
    #10
  11. Doran, Harold

    Wensui Liu Guest

    Gerry,

    I have the similar background as yours, many years using SAS/R. Right
    now I am trying to pick up python.

    >From your point, is there anything that can be done with python easily

    but not with SAS/R?

    thanks for your insight.

    wensui

    On 1/1/07, <> wrote:
    > We're not so far apart.
    >
    > I've used SAS or 25 years, and R/S-PLUS for 10.
    >
    > I think you've said it better than I did, though: R requires more attention
    > (which is often needed).
    >
    > I certainly didn't mean that R crashed - just an indictment of how much I
    > thought I was holding in my head.
    >
    > Gerry
    > --
    > http://mail.python.org/mailman/listinfo/python-list
    >



    --
    WenSui Liu
    A lousy statistician who happens to know a little programming
    (http://spaces.msn.com/statcompute/blog)
     
    Wensui Liu, Jan 1, 2007
    #11
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