Chapter 2. Getting Started with R

In this chapter, we lay out the case for using R for social media mining. We then walk readers through the processes of installing, getting help for, and using R. By the end of this chapter, readers will have gained familiarity with data import/export, arithmetic, vectors, basic statistical modeling, and basic graphing using R.

Why R?

We strongly prefer using the R statistical computing environment for social data mining. This chapter highlights the benefits of using R, presents an introductory lesson on its use, and provides pointers towards further resources for learning the R language.

At its most basic, R is simply a calculator. You can ask it what 2 + 2 is, and it will provide you with 4 as the answer. However, ...

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