[R] Kendall's tau

ripley@stats.ox.ac.uk ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
Thu Apr 25 11:43:36 CEST 2002

On Thu, 25 Apr 2002, Martin Henry H. Stevens wrote:

> A search of the archives did not reveal an answer:
> For basic tests of association, where one has no a priori knowledge of the
> form of the relation or of the distributions of the variables, rank
> correlation seems like a good start. Why is cor.test() with Kendall and
> Spearman options relegated to the ctest package, rather than in the base
> package? Does this suggest that the developers consider other tests of
> association more generally useful?

It's *not* relegated.  t.test is there too!

There is no sense in which material in the standard or recommended
packages is not considered `generally useful'.  However, R does keep all
its code in memory, and the long-term aim has been to strip the base
package down to the bare essentials (e.g. removing lm).  Many R users
never use lm nor cor.test, and I suspect the vast majority of R sessions
do not use either.  If we had all the standard material in base, R would
run slower and need more memory (and the latter has been an issue until
recently, with 16Mb teaching labs).

Brian D. Ripley,                  ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
Professor of Applied Statistics,  http://www.stats.ox.ac.uk/~ripley/
University of Oxford,             Tel:  +44 1865 272861 (self)
1 South Parks Road,                     +44 1865 272860 (secr)
Oxford OX1 3TG, UK                Fax:  +44 1865 272595

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