[R] using kernel density estimates to infer mode of distribution

From: Dan Rabosky <dlr32_at_cornell.edu>
Date: Thu 16 Feb 2006 - 10:28:25 EST


Is it possible to use "density" or another kernel density estimator to identify the mode of a distribution? When I use 'density', the resulting density plot of my data is much cleaner than the original noisy histogram, and I can clearly see the signal that I am interested in. E.g., suppose my data is actually drawn from two or more normal (or other) distributions. Looking at the kernel density plots, it seems that the estimator gives a good approximation of the modal values of each distribution, but I can't figure out how to obtain these values short of visually estimating the location of the mode using the plot(density).

Is there a relatively easy way to do this?

Thanks in advance for your help!
Dan Rabosky

Dan Rabosky
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Cornell University
Ithaca, NY14853-2701 USA
web: http://www.birds.cornell.edu/evb/Graduates_Dan.htm

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