Re: [R] creating a derived variable in a data frame

From: Martin Henry H. Stevens <>
Date: Fri 21 Oct 2005 - 00:47:30 EST

Hi Avram-
 many countries do you have?

I would do it the following way because it is simple and I don't know any better, even if it is absurdly painstaking.

#Step 1
mydata$continent <- factor(NA, levels=c("NoAm","Euro"))

#Steps 2 a-z
mydata$continent[mydata$country=="US" |

                                 mydata$country=="CA" |
                                mydata$country=="MX" ]  <- "NoAm"

#Repeat for all countries and continents.


On Oct 19, 2005, at 8:09 PM, Avram Aelony wrote:

> Hello,
> I have read through the manuals and can't seem to find an answer.
> I have a categorical, character variable that has hundreds of
> values. I want to group the existing values of this variable into
> a new, derived (categorical) variable by applying conditions to the

> values in the data.
> For example, suppose I have a data frame with variables: date,
> country, x, y, and z.
> x,y,z are numeric and country is a 2-digit character string. I
> want to create a new derived variable named "continent" that would
> also exist in the data frame. The Continent variable would have
> values of "Asia", "Europe", "North America", etc...
> How would this best be done for a large dataset (>10MB) ?
> I have tried many variations on following without success (note in
> a real example I would have a longer list of countries and
> continent values):
>> mydata$continent <- mydata[ mydata$country==list
>> ('US','CA','MX'), ] -> "North America"
> I have read about factors, but I am not sure how they apply here.
> Can anyone help me with the syntax? I am sure it is trivial and a
> common thing to do.
> The ultimate goal is to compute percentages of x by continent.
> Thanks for any help in advance.
> -Avram
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Dr. Martin Henry H. Stevens, Assistant Professor 338 Pearson Hall
Botany Department
Miami University
Oxford, OH 45056

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"E Pluribus Unum" mailing list PLEASE do read the posting guide! Received on Fri Oct 21 01:37:23 2005

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