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R Data Analysis Cookbook - Second Edition by Kuntal Ganguly

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Handling missing values

When reading data from text files, R treats blanks in numerical variables as NA (signifying missing data). By default, it reads blanks in categorical attributes just as blanks and not as NA. To treat blanks as NA for categorical and character variables, set na.strings="":

> auto  <- read.csv("auto-mpg.csv", na.strings="") 

If the data file uses a specified string (such as "N/A" or "NA" for example) to indicate the missing values, you can specify that string as the na.strings argument, as in na.strings= "N/A" or na.strings = "NA".

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