Distill a complex object to something easier to manage, like a numeric vector.
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A list, vector, matrix or data frame, or other object that has a
Perhaps a fine line exists between functions such as
summary, etc. The idea behind the
distill method is to have a function that “distills” out the most pertinent information from a more complex object. This can be useful, for example, when fitting a model to a number of spatial locations. With many models, it might not be feasible to store (or analyze) large complicated data objects. In such a case, it may be useful to keep only a vector with the most pertinent information (e.g., parameter estimates, their standard errors, the likelihood value, AIC, BIC, etc.). For example, this is used within extRemes >= 2.0 on the “fevd” class objects with the aim at fitting models to numerous locations within an
apply call so that something easily handled is returned, but with enough information as to be useful.
The data frame and matrix methods attempt to name each component of the vector. The list method simply does
numeric vector, possibly named.
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