[R] Create a new variable and concatenation inside a "for" loop

Raubertas, Richard richard_raubertas at merck.com
Tue May 3 00:00:48 CEST 2016

What nonsense.  There is a group of finger-waggers on this list who jump on every poster who uses the name of an R function as a variable name.  R is perfectly capable of distinguishing the two, so if 'c' (or 'data' or 'df', etc.) is the natural name for a variable then go ahead and use it.  Mr. Newmiller provides an excellent example of this:  he recommends 'C' instead of 'c', apparently without realizing that 'C' is also a built-in R function--because there is "no such problem".

Richard Raubertas

-----Original Message-----
From: R-help [mailto:r-help-bounces at r-project.org] On Behalf Of Jeff Newmiller
Sent: Wednesday, April 27, 2016 3:58 PM
To: Gordon, Fabiana; 'r-help at R-project.org'
Subject: Re: [R] Create a new variable and concatenation inside a "for" loop

"c" an extremely commonly-used function. Functions are first-class objects that occupy the same namespaces that variables do, so they can obscure each other. In short, don't use variables called "c" (R is case sensitive, so "C" has no such problem).

Wherever possible, avoid incremental concatenation like the plague. If you feel you must use it, at least concatenate in lists and then use functions like unlist, do.call, or pre-allocate vectors or matrix-like objects with unuseful values like NA and then overwrite each element in the vector or matrix-type object in a loop like your first one. 
Sent from my phone. Please excuse my brevity.

On April 27, 2016 3:25:14 PM GMT+01:00, "Gordon, Fabiana" <fabiana.gordon at imperial.ac.uk> wrote:
>Suppose the you need a loop to create a new variable , i.e., you are
>not reading data from outside the loop. This is a simple example in
>Matlab code,
>for i=1:5
>r=[r1 r2]
>c(i,:)=r;   % creation of each row of c , % the ":" symbol indicates
>all columns. In R this would be [i,]
>The output of interest is c which I'm creating inside the "for" loop
>-also the index used in the loop is used to create c. In R I had to
>create c as an  empty vector (numeric() ) outside the loop, otherwise I
>get an error message saying that c doesn't exit.
>The other issue is the concatenation. In each iteration I'm creating
>the rows of c by placing the new row  (r) below the previous one so
>that c becomes a 5 x 2 matrix.
>In R, it seems that I have no choice but use the function "rbind". I
>managed to write this code in R . However, I'm not sure that if instead
>of creating a new variable  using  the index in the "for" loop , I
>wanted to use the index to read data, e.g.  suppose I have a 2 X 10
>matrix X and suppose I want to calculate the sin () for each 2 x 2
>sub-matrix of and stored in a matrix A. Then the code would be
>something like this,
>for i=1:5
>A(:, 2*i-1:2*i)= sin(X(:, 2*i-1:2*i))   % the ":" symbol indicates all
>Many Thanks,
>Dr Fabiana Gordon
>Senior Statistical Consultant
>Statistical Advisory Service, School Of Public Health,
>Imperial College London
>1st Floor, Stadium House, 68 Wood Lane,
>London W12 7RH.
>Tel: 020 7594 1749
>fabiana.gordon at imperial.ac.uk<mailto:fabiana.gordon at imperial.ac.uk>
>	[[alternative HTML version deleted]]
>R-help at r-project.org mailing list -- To UNSUBSCRIBE and more, see
>PLEASE do read the posting guide
>and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.

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