# [R] simplify code for dummy coding of factors

Jeff Newmiller jdnewmil at dcn.davis.ca.us
Wed Dec 31 01:18:10 CET 2014

```"More comprehensible" depends on context, which we don't have. You could
be simply trying to illustrate the logic of the transformation (solution 1
below) or providing a recipe which by its brevity is (perhaps?) memorable
(solution 2 below).

Solution 1:

appendDummys <- function( DF, keycol, d.base ) {
# get levels of key column
lvls <- levels( DF[[ keycol ]] )
# for each level in the key column
keyno <- 1L
for ( keylvl in lvls ) {
# name for new column
dname <- paste0( d.base, keyno )
# make the new column, filled with default value
DF[[ dname ]] <- 0L
# change those values in the new column where the value matches the
# current level
DF[ keylvl == DF[[ keycol ]], dname ] <- 1L
# prepare for next loop
keyno <- keyno + 1L
}
# return modified data frame
DF
}

haireye <- margin.table(HairEyeColor, 1:2)
haireye.df <- as.data.frame(haireye)
haireye.df <- appendDummys( haireye.df, "Hair", "h" )
haireye.df <- appendDummys( haireye.df, "Eye", "e" )

###
Solution 2

haireye <- margin.table(HairEyeColor, 1:2)
haireye.df <- as.data.frame(haireye)
dummykeys <- data.frame( h = factor( as.integer( haireye.df\$Hair ) )
, e = factor( as.integer( haireye.df\$Eye ) ) )
dummy.hair <- as.data.frame( model.matrix( ~ h - 1 ), data=dummykeys )
dummy.eye <- as.data.frame( model.matrix( ~ e - 1 ), data=dummykeys )
haireye.df <- data.frame( haireye.df, dummy.hair, dummy.eye )

###

FWIW I am not a fan of mixing the model matrix columns in with the
original data... the column names can (in general) clash.

On Tue, 30 Dec 2014, Michael Friendly wrote:

> In a manuscript, I have the following code to illustrate dummy coding of two
> factors in a contingency table.
>
> It works, but is surely obscured by the method I used, involving outer() to
> find equalities and 0+outer()
> to convert to numeric.  Can someone help simplify this code to be more
> comprehensible and give the
> *same* result? I'd prefer a solution that uses base R.
>
> haireye <- margin.table(HairEyeColor, 1:2)
>
> haireye.df <- as.data.frame(haireye)
> dummy.hair <-  0+outer(haireye.df\$Hair, levels(haireye.df\$Hair), `==`)
> colnames(dummy.hair)  <- paste0('h', 1:4)
> dummy.eye <-  0+outer(haireye.df\$Eye, levels(haireye.df\$Eye), `==`)
> colnames(dummy.eye)  <- paste0('e', 1:4)
>
> haireye.df <- data.frame(haireye.df, dummy.hair, dummy.eye)
> haireye.df
>
>> haireye.df
>    Hair   Eye Freq h1 h2 h3 h4 e1 e2 e3 e4
> 1  Black Brown   68  1  0  0  0  1  0  0  0
> 2  Brown Brown  119  0  1  0  0  1  0  0  0
> 3    Red Brown   26  0  0  1  0  1  0  0  0
> 4  Blond Brown    7  0  0  0  1  1  0  0  0
> 5  Black  Blue   20  1  0  0  0  0  1  0  0
> 6  Brown  Blue   84  0  1  0  0  0  1  0  0
> 7    Red  Blue   17  0  0  1  0  0  1  0  0
> 8  Blond  Blue   94  0  0  0  1  0  1  0  0
> 9  Black Hazel   15  1  0  0  0  0  0  1  0
> 10 Brown Hazel   54  0  1  0  0  0  0  1  0
> 11   Red Hazel   14  0  0  1  0  0  0  1  0
> 12 Blond Hazel   10  0  0  0  1  0  0  1  0
> 13 Black Green    5  1  0  0  0  0  0  0  1
> 14 Brown Green   29  0  1  0  0  0  0  0  1
> 15   Red Green   14  0  0  1  0  0  0  0  1
> 16 Blond Green   16  0  0  0  1  0  0  0  1
>>
>
> --
> Michael Friendly     Email: friendly AT yorku DOT ca
> Professor, Psychology Dept. & Chair, Quantitative Methods
> York University      Voice: 416 736-2100 x66249 Fax: 416 736-5814
> 4700 Keele Street    Web:http://www.datavis.ca
> Toronto, ONT  M3J 1P3 CANADA
>
> ______________________________________________
> R-help at r-project.org mailing list -- To UNSUBSCRIBE and more, see
> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
> and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.
>

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jeff Newmiller                        The     .....       .....  Go Live...
DCN:<jdnewmil at dcn.davis.ca.us>        Basics: ##.#.       ##.#.  Live Go...