as_units: convert object to a units object

Description Usage Arguments Value Character strings Expressions Note See Also Examples

View source: R/conversion.R

Description

A number of functions are provided for creating unit objects.

Usage

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as_units(x, ...)

## Default S3 method:
as_units(x, value = unitless, ...)

## S3 method for class 'difftime'
as_units(x, value, ...)

make_units(bare_expression, check_is_valid = TRUE)

## S3 method for class 'character'
as_units(x, check_is_valid = TRUE,
  implicit_exponents = NULL, force_single_symbol = FALSE, ...)

## S3 method for class 'call'
as_units(x, check_is_valid = TRUE, ...)

Arguments

x

object of class units

...

passed on to other methods

value

an object of class units, or something coercible to one with as_units

bare_expression

a bare R expression describing units. Must be valid R syntax (reserved R syntax words like in must be backticked)

check_is_valid

throw an error if all the unit symbols are not either recognized by udunits2 via ud_is_parseable(), or a custom user defined via install_symbolic_unit(). If FALSE, no check for validity is performed.

implicit_exponents

If the unit string is in product power form (e.g. "km m-2 s-1"). Defaults to NULL, in which case a guess is made based on the supplied string. Set to TRUE or FALSE if the guess is incorrect.

force_single_symbol

Whether to perform no string parsing and force treatment of the string as a single symbol.

Value

A new unit object that can be used in arithmetic, unit conversion or unit assignment.

Character strings

Generally speaking, there are 3 types of unit strings are accepted in as_units (and by extension, `units<-`).

The first, and likely most common, is a "standard" format unit specification where the relationship between unit symbols or names is specified explicitly with arithmetic symbols for division /, multiplication * and power exponents ^, or other mathematical functions like log(). In this case, the string is parsed as an R expression via parse(text = ) after backticking all unit symbols and names, and then passed on to as_units.call(). A heuristic is used to perform backticking, such that any continuous set of characters uninterrupted by one of ()\*^- are backticked (unless the character sequence consists solely of numbers 0-9), with some care to not double up on pre-existing backticks. This heuristic appears to be quite robust, and works for units would otherwise not be valid R syntax. For example, percent ("%"), feet ("'"), inches ("in"), and Tesla ("T") are all backticked and parsed correctly.

Nevertheless, for certain complex unit expressions, this backticking heuristic may give incorrect results. If the string supplied fails to parse as an R expression, then the string is treated as a single symbolic unit and symbolic_unit(chr) is used as a fallback with a warning. In that case, automatic unit simplification may not work properly when performing operations on unit objects, but unit conversion and other Math operations should still give correct results so long as the unit string supplied returns TRUE for ud_is_parsable().

The second type of unit string accepted is one with implicit exponents. In this format, /, *, and ^, may not be present in the string, and unit symbol or names must be separated by a space. Each unit symbol may optionally be followed by a single number, specifying the power. For example "m2 s-2" is equivalent to "(m^2)*(s^-2)".

The third type of unit string format accepted is the special case of udunits time duration with a reference origin, for example "hours since 1970-01-01 00:00:00". Note, that the handling of time and calendar operations via the udunits library is subtly different from the way R handles date and time operations. This functionality is mostly exported for users that work with udunits time data, e.g., with NetCDF files. Users are otherwise encouraged to use R's date and time functionality provided by Date and POSIXt classes.

Expressions

In as_units(), each of the symbols in the unit expression is treated individually, such that each symbol must be recognized by the udunits database (checked by ud_is_parseable(), or be a custom, user-defined unit symbol that was defined either by install_symbolic_unit() or install_conversion_constant(). To see which symbols and names are currently recognized by the udunits database, see udunits_symbols().

Note

By default, unit names are automatically substituted with unit names (e.g., kilogram –> kg). To turn off this behavior, set units_options(auto_convert_names_to_symbols = FALSE)

See Also

valid_udunits

Examples

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s = Sys.time()
d  = s - (s+1)
as_units(d)
# The easiest way to assign units to a numeric vector is like this: 
x <- y <- 1:4
units(x) <- "m/s"  # meters / second

# Alternatively, the easiest pipe-friendly way to set units:
if(requireNamespace("magrittr", quietly = TRUE)) {
  library(magrittr)
  y %>% set_units(m/s)
} 

# these are different ways of creating the same unit:
# meters per second squared, i.e, acceleration
x1 <- make_units(m/s^2)
x2 <- as_units(quote(m/s^2))
x2 <- as_units("m/s^2")
x3 <- as_units("m s-2") # in product power form, i.e., implicit exponents = T
x4 <- set_units(1,  m/s^2) # by default, mode = "symbols"
x5 <- set_units(1, "m/s^2",   mode = "standard")
x6 <- set_units(1, x1,        mode = "standard")
x7 <- set_units(1, units(x1), mode = "standard")
x8 <- as_units("m") / as_units("s")^2

all_identical <- function(...) {
  l <- list(...)
  for(i in seq_along(l)[-1])
    if(!identical(l[[1]], l[[i]]))
      return(FALSE)
  TRUE
}
all_identical(x1, x2, x3, x4, x5, x6, x7, x8)

# Note, direct usage of these unit creation functions is typically not 
# necessary, since coercion is automatically done via as_units(). Again, 
# these are all equivalent ways to generate the same result.

x1 <- x2 <- x3 <- x4 <- x5 <- x6 <- x7 <- x8 <- 1:4
units(x1) <- "m/s^2"
units(x2) <- "m s-2"
units(x3) <- quote(m/s^2)
units(x4) <- make_units(m/s^2)
units(x5) <- as_units(quote(m/s^2))
x6 <- set_units(x6, m/s^2)
x7 <- set_units(x7, "m/s^2", mode = "standard")
x8 <- set_units(x8, units(x1), mode = "standard")

all_identical(x1, x2, x3, x4, x5, x6, x7, x8)


# Both unit names or symbols can be used. By default, unit names are
# automatically converted to unit symbols.
make_units(degree_C)
make_units(kilogram)
make_units(ohm)
# Note, if the printing of non-ascii characters is garbled, then you may
# need to specify the encoding on your system manually like this:
# ud_set_encoding("latin1")
# not all unit names get converted to symbols under different encodings

## Arithmetic operations and units
# conversion between unit objects that were defined as symbols and names will
# work correctly, although unit simplification in printing may not always occur.
x <- 500 * make_units(micrograms/liter)
y <- set_units(200, ug/l)
x + y
x * y # numeric result is correct, but units not simplified completely

# note, plural form of unit name accepted too ('liters' vs 'liter'), and
# denominator simplification can be performed correctly
x * set_units(5, liters)

# unit conversion works too
set_units(x, grams/gallon)

## Creating custom, user defined units
# For example, a microbiologist might work with counts of bacterial cells
# make_units(cells/ml) # by default, throws an ERROR
# First define the unit, then the newly defined unit is accepted.
install_symbolic_unit("cells")
make_units(cells/ml) 

# Note, install_symbolic_unit() does not add any support for unit
# conversion, or arithmetic operations that require unit conversion. See
# ?install_conversion_constant for defining relationships between user 
# defined units.

## set_units()
# set_units is a pipe friendly version of `units<-`. 
if(requireNamespace("magrittr", quietly = TRUE)) {
  library(magrittr)
  1:5 %>% set_units(N/m^2)
  # first sets to m, then converts to km
  1:5 %>% set_units(m) %>% set_units(km)
}

# set_units has two modes of operation. By default, it operates with 
# bare symbols to define the units.
set_units(1:5, m/s)

# use `mode = "standard"` to use the value of supplied argument, rather than
# the bare symbols of the expression. In this mode, set_units() can be
# thought of as a simple alias for `units<-` that is pipe friendly.
set_units(1:5, "m/s", mode = "standard")
set_units(1:5, make_units(m/s), mode = "standard")

# the mode of set_units() can be controlled via a global option
# units_options(set_units_mode = "standard")

# To remove units use
units(x) <- NULL
# or
set_units(x, NULL)
# or
drop_units(y)

units documentation built on Oct. 8, 2019, 5:05 p.m.