vignettes/comparer.md

title: "Introduction to the comparer R package" author: "Collin Erickson" date: "2020-03-17" output: rmarkdown::html_vignette vignette: > %\VignetteIndexEntry{Introduction to the comparer R package} %\VignetteEngine{knitr::rmarkdown} %\VignetteEncoding{UTF-8}

references: - id: gneiting title: Strictly proper scoring rules, prediction, and estimation author: - family: Gneiting given: Tilmann - family: Raftery given: Adrian E. container-title: Journal of the American Statistical Association publisher: Taylor \& Francis page: 359-378 type: article-journal issued: year: 2007

When coding, especially for data science, there are multiple ways to solve each problem. When presented with two options, you want to pick the one that is faster and/or more accurate. Comparing different code chunks on the same task can be tedious. It often requires creating data, writing a for loop (or using sapply), then comparing.

The comparer package makes this comparison quick and simple:

This document introduces the main function of the comparer package, mbc.

Motivation from microbenchmark

The R package microbenchmark provides the fantastic eponymous function. It makes it simple to run different segments of code and see which is faster. Borrowing an example from http://adv-r.had.co.nz/Performance.html, the following shows how it gives a summary of how fast each ran.

if (requireNamespace("microbenchmark", quietly = TRUE)) {
  x <- runif(100)
  microbenchmark::microbenchmark(sqrt(x), x ^ .5)
} else {
  "microbenchmark not available on your computer"
}
## [1] "microbenchmark not available on your computer"

However it gives no summary of the output. For this example it is fine since the output is deterministic, but when working with randomness or model predictions we want to have some sort of summary or evaluation metric to see which has better accuracy, or to just see how the outputs differ.

mbc to the rescue

The function mbc in the comparer package was created to solve this problem, where a comparison of the output is desired in addition to the run time.

For example, we may wish to see how the sample size affects an estimate of the mean of a random sample. The following shows the results of finding the mean of 10 and 100 samples from a normal distribution.



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comparer documentation built on March 29, 2021, 5:06 p.m.