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st: RE: re: Stata's row and column labels for matrices


From   "Nick Cox" <n.j.cox@durham.ac.uk>
To   <statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu>
Subject   st: RE: re: Stata's row and column labels for matrices
Date   Mon, 28 Mar 2005 17:16:18 +0100

If you don't like Stata's default names 
r1, r2, ..., c1, c2, ..., and/or 
you want more informative row and 
column names, then you can supply them 
yourself. That is, the onus is on you 
to supply names as desired. 

The suggestion that Stata's default row 
and column labelling 
should echo the names of the matrices is 
interesting, but surely undesirable in practice. 

The limit on matrix name length and matrix
row/column name length appears to be 32 characters, 
at least in Stata 8 SE. A fairly long matrix 
name and perhaps fairly long row or column name 
might well be desirable in some circumstances, but 
the consequences of using the matrix name in general 
to label rows and columns would often be matrix 
displays difficult to read, as a few experiments with names and 
-matrix list- make clear. 

The present default r1, r2, ..., c1, c2, ... is a little ugly 
but by contrast simple, clear and practical. 

Nick
n.j.cox@durham.ac.uk 

P.S. please don't send HTML to the list. 

Elmer Villanueva

Thanks for this. Your right, of course. I feel rather stupid 
having raised it in the first place. I've got a simple brain 
and it seemed to me that if the resulting matrices were 
labelled r1, r2... and c1, c2..., even if they weren't really 
rows and columns, it could easily be misinterpreted by people 
like me, especially if the matrix calculations are complex and 
there aren't any suitable markers. But, as you say, they're mere 
names and I'm sure Stata's got it right all along. Anyway, 
matrices don't really need column or row names at all. 
However, if rows and columns are named, shouldn't they be 
labelled more informatively? Perhaps they can even consider 
adopting your notation automatically so that matrices created 
by hand aren't unimaginatively named. I guess I was thinking 
that output should be informative or it should be dropped. 
You've showed, I suppose, that the calculation involving 
eight hand-entered matrices A-H producing a single matrix 
with names r1, r2... for both rows and columns simply means 
that the results were derived from rows of one matrix and 
the rows of another. Which ones? Irrelevant. As you say, 
there's really nothing to it and Stata's got it right. 


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