By Bradley Efron, Gail Gong (auth.), William F. Eddy (eds.)
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Additional info for Computer Science and Statistics: Proceedings of the 13th Symposium on the Interface
The computations performed by most statistical packages currently in existence could be done on a Marchand calculator or Babbage's Analytical Engine (given enough time). The personal computer affords us an opportunity to develop new techniques for data analysis that could not be done -- even in principle -- without the computing technology that we now have available. and David Wallace for having read an early version of the manuscript and for making a number of helpful comments and suggestions.
Optionally, one might have in addition a communications facility with a modem for linking to other computers. A system with all of the features listed above can be purchased for less than $5000, and a usable system for less than $3000. 25 A set of instructions to a batch statistical package (let us call this a "program") consists of a sequence of commands, which often must be given in a prescribed order, and which taken together describe a set of data and a collection of statistical computations to be performed on those data.
Now this reduction was an important advance for data analysis, but it did not take us very far structurally from our batch roots. Indeed, one can take almost any interactive package and construct a sequence of commands to it that could be submitted en masse for execution. And one can mimic interactive data analysis using a batch system if one has sufficiently rapid turnaround. (However, for some batch packages the chunks are so large that they cannot be digested quickly, making it impossible to mimic truly interactive computing even with instantaneaous response.
Computer Science and Statistics: Proceedings of the 13th Symposium on the Interface by Bradley Efron, Gail Gong (auth.), William F. Eddy (eds.)