ratetable: Rate table structure

Description Details See Also

View source: R/ratetableold.R


Description of the rate tables used by expected survival routines.


A rate table contains event rates per unit time for some particular endpoint. Death rates are the most common use, the survexp.us table, for instance, contains death rates for the United States by year of age, sex, and calendar year.

A rate table is structured as a multi-way array with the following attributes:


the dimensions of the array


a named list of dimnames. The names are used to match user data to the dimensions, e.g., see the rmap argument in the pyears example. If a dimension is categorical, such as sex in survexp.us, then the dimname itself is matched against user's data values. The matching ignored case and allows abbreviations, e.g., "M", "Male", and "male" all successfully match the survexp.us dimname of sex=c("male", "female").


a vector giving the type of each dimension, which will be 1= categorical, 2= continuous, 3= date, 4= US calendar year. If type is 3 or 4, then the corresponding cutpoints must be one of the calendar date types: Date, POSIXt, date, or chron. This allows the code to properly match user data to the ratetable.


a list with one elment per dimension. If type=1 then the corresponding list element should be NULL, otherwise it should be a vector of length dim[i] containing the starting point of the interval to which the corresponding row/col of the array applies. Cutpoints must be in the same units as the underlying table, e.g., the survexp.us table contains death rates per day, so the age cutpoint vector contains age in days while year contains a vector of Dates. Cutpoints do not need to be evenly spaced: the survexp.us table originally had age divided up as 0-1 days, 1-7 days, 7-28 days, 28 days - 1 year, 2, 3, ... 119 years. (Changes in the source of the tables made it difficult to continue splitting out the first year.)


an optional summarization function. If present, it will be called with a numeric matrix that has one column per dimension and one row per observation; and the function returns a character string giving a summary of the data.


optional attribute containing the names of the dimnames. In this case the dimnames list itself does not have names.

See Also

survexp, pyears, survexp.us

survival documentation built on April 17, 2018, 1:04 a.m.