[R] Computing the mode

Spencer Graves spencer.graves at pdf.com
Tue Feb 24 13:12:17 CET 2004

      The problem is that 'the statistic "mode" of a sample' has no 
clear definition.  If the distribution is highly discrete, then the 
following will do the job: 

 > set.seed(1)
 > X <- rpois(11,1)
 > (nX <- table(X))
0 1 2 3
4 4 2 1
 > names(nX)[nX==max(nX)]
[1] "0" "1"

      However, if the data are continuous with no 2 numbers exactly 
equal, then the "mode" depends on the procedure, e.g., the specific 
selection of breakpoints for a histogram.  If you insist on finding 
something, you can try "www.r-project.org" -> search -> "R site search" 
for something like ""nonparametric density estimation" and / or "kernel 
density estimator". 

      hope this helps. 
      spencer graves
      p.s.  This has been discussed recently on this list, but I could 
not easily find it in the archives. 

Aurora Torrente wrote:

> Hi all,
> I think this question could be quite trivial, but I can´t find out the 
> solution... How can you compute the statistic "mode" of a sample, in 
> case it exists (as mode() returns the mode of an object)? I tried 
> help.search("mode") but I couldn't find a clue...
> Any help would be much appreciated. Regards,
>        Aurora
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