shift_by: Shift a Vector (i.e., lag/lead) by Group In quest: Prepare Questionnaire Data for Analysis

Description

shift_by shifts elements of a vector right (n < 0) for lags or left (n > 0) for leads by group, replacing the undefined data with a user-defined value (e.g., NA). The number of elements shifted is equal to abs(n). It is assumed that x is already sorted within each group by time such that the first element for that group is earliest in time and the last element for that group is the latest in time.

Usage

 1 shift_by(x, grp, n, undefined = NA)

Arguments

 x atomic vector or list vector. grp list of atomic vector(s) and/or factor(s) (e.g., data.frame), which each have same length as x. It can also be an atomic vector or factor, which will then be made the first element of a list internally. n integer vector with length 1. Specifies the direction and magnitude of the shift. See details. undefined atomic vector with length 1 (probably makes sense to be the same typeof as x). Specifies what to insert for undefined values after the shifting takes place. See details.

Details

If n is negative, then shift_by inserts undefined into the first abs(n) elements of x for each group, shifting all other values of x to the right abs(n) positions, and then dropping the last abs(n) elements of x to preserve the original length of each group. If n is positive, then shift_by drops the first abs(n) elements of x for each group, shifting all other values of x left abs(n) positions, and then inserts undefined into the last abs(n) elements of x to preserve the original length of each group. If n is zero, then shift_by simply returns x.

It is recommended to use L when specifying n to prevent problems with floating point numbers. shift_by tries to circumvent this issue by a call to round within shift_by if n is not an integer; however that is not a complete fail safe. The problem is that as.integer(n) implicit in shift_by truncates rather than rounds.

Value

an atomic vector of the same length as x that is shifted by group. If x and undefined are different typeofs, then the return will be coerced to the most complex typeof (i.e., complex to simple: character, double, integer, logical).