# Strange Results of summary()

**Martin Maechler
**
Martin Maechler <maechler@stat.math.ethz.ch>

*Wed, 18 Mar 1998 18:59:46 +0100*

Huber Palme writes
>>* I run the following job. Please, compare the results of summary and
*>>* table concerning berufl. From similar SPSS/PSPP runs, the result of
*>>* table is correct.
*>>*
*>>* Did I misunderstand anything or is there a bug?
*>>*
*>>* What does the difference come from?
*>>* What does '(other)' mean?
*>>* What about the strange order of the levels?
*>>*
*>>* summary(....)
*>>*
*>>* ....
*>>* berufl
*>>* Bureaukraft :15
*>>* Guetererzeugung : 9
*>>* sonstige : 4
*>>* Handel : 3
*>>* wissensch.-technisch: 3
*>>* (Other) : 3
*>>* NA's :43
*
.....
>>* > table(berufl)
*>>* wissensch.-technisch Leiter Oeff. Dienst/Wirtschaft
*>>* 3 0
*>>* Bureaukraft Handel
*>>* 15 3
*>>* Dienstleistungsgewerbe/Soldat Gaertner/Jaeger
*>>* 2 1
*>>* Guetererzeugung sonstige
*>>* 9 4
*
What's the problem?
'(Other)' gives all the levels having (in your case) 0,1,2 observations,
which sum to 3 observations.
"summary(.)" should give a summary (think of a factor with 500 levels....)
table() is more detailed (but doesn't report the NA's),
which is the only thing to critize here:
S-plus's table(..) has an extra argument "exclude" which
we should also have in R:
S> args(table)
function(..., exclude = c(NA, NaN))
S> table(c(NA,1:5))
1 2 3 4 5
1 1 1 1 1
> table(c(NA,1:5), exclude=NULL)
1 2 3 4 5 NA
1 1 1 1 1 1
Martin Maechler <maechler@stat.math.ethz.ch> <><
Seminar fuer Statistik, ETH-Zentrum SOL G1; Sonneggstr.33
ETH (Federal Inst. Technology) 8092 Zurich SWITZERLAND
phone: x-41-1-632-3408 fax: ...-1086
http://www.stat.math.ethz.ch/~maechler/
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