Re: [R] 'asymmetric span' for 2D loess?

From: Prof Brian Ripley <>
Date: Tue, 03 Jun 2008 07:20:08 +0100 (BST)

On Mon, 2 Jun 2008, Tokuyasu, Taku wrote:

> Hello,
> I am interested in performing a 2D loess smooth on microarray data, i.e.
> log2 ratios on a 2D grid, using different spans in the horizontal and
> vertical directions (the immediate reason being that replicate spots are
> laid out in the horizontal direction). Is it possible to do this in R?
> Functions like loess(stats) seem to apply the same span for all
> predictors, which carries over to functions like ma2D(marray).

See the next comment. 'span' applies to 2D distances, and I think you need to rescale your inputs so Euclidean distance is appropriate.

> As an elementary second question, are there circumstances where one
> expects to see a substantial difference in the fits between say loess(y
> ~ x1 + x2) and loess(y ~ x1 * x2) with an interaction term (and if so,
> what are they)?

>From the help page:

  formula: a formula specifying the numeric response and one to four

           numeric predictors (best specified via an interaction, but
           can also be specified additively).  Will be coerced to a
           formula if necessary.

So the two versions both specify smoothing in 2D.

You can use things like lo(x1) + lo(x2) in some gam fits.

It often helps to read the primary sources, in this case chapters in the White Book (Chambers & Hastie, nominally 1992, actually published in 1991).

> Many thanks,
> _Taku
> Taku A. Tokuyasu, PhD
> UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
> San Francisco, CA 94143-0808

Brian D. Ripley,        
Professor of Applied Statistics,
University of Oxford,             Tel:  +44 1865 272861 (self)
1 South Parks Road,                     +44 1865 272866 (PA)
Oxford OX1 3TG, UK                Fax:  +44 1865 272595

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