# Re: [R] Creating factors from continuous variables

From: Berton Gunter <gunter.berton_at_gene.com>
Date: Sat 27 Aug 2005 - 07:02:55 EST

?cut

• Bert Gunter Genentech Non-Clinical Statistics South San Francisco, CA

"The business of the statistician is to catalyze the scientific learning process." - George E. P. Box

> -----Original Message-----
> From: r-help-bounces@stat.math.ethz.ch
> [mailto:r-help-bounces@stat.math.ethz.ch] On Behalf Of David James
> Sent: Friday, August 26, 2005 2:00 PM
> To: r-help@stat.math.ethz.ch
> Subject: [R] Creating factors from continuous variables
>
> What is the quickest way to create many categorical variables
> (factors) from continuous variables?
>
> This is the approach that I have used:
>
> # create sample data
> N <- 20
> x <- runif(N,0,1)
>

> # setup ranges to define categories

> x.a <- (x >= 0.0) & (x < 0.4)
> x.b <- (x >= 0.4) & (x < 0.5)
> x.c <- (x >= 0.5) & (x < 0.6)
> x.d <- (x >= 0.6) & (x < 1.0)
>
> # create factors
> i <- runif(N,1,1)
> x.new <- (i*1*x.a) + (i*2*x.b) + (i*3*x.c) + (i*4*x.d)
> x.factor <- factor(x.new)
>
> I'm looking for a better / simpler / more elegant / more robust (as
> the number of categories increases) way to do this. I also don't
> like that my factor names can only be numbers in this example. I
> would prefer a solution to take a form like the following (inspired
> by the "hist" function):
>
> # define breakpoints
> x.breaks = c(0, 0.4, 0.5, 0.6, 1.0)
> x.factornames = c( "0 - 0.4", "0.4 - 0.5", "0.5 - 0.6", "0.6 - 1.0" )
> x.factor = unknown.function( x, x.breaks, x.factornames )
>
> Thanks,
> David
>
> P.S. Here's what I have read to try to find the answer to my problem:
> * "Introductory Statistics with R"
> * "A Brief Guide to R for Beginners in Econometrics"
> * "Econometrics in R"
>
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