[R] When factor is better than other types, such as vector and frame?

Paul Hiemstra p.hiemstra at geo.uu.nl
Sun Aug 23 10:08:42 CEST 2009

Peng Yu schreef:
> Hi,
> It is easy to understand the types vector and frame.
> But I am wondering why the type factor is designed in R. What is the
> advantage of factor compare with other data types in R? Can somebody
> give an example in which case the type factor is much better than
> other data types?
> Regards,
> Peng
> ______________________________________________
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> PLEASE do read the posting guide http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
> and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.Hi, 

Factor is better when the  variable is categorical, such as 'Forest', 
'Woodland' etc. When performing for example an lm() the categorical 
variables have to be a factor in order for R to recognize it in that way.


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