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# Re: st: FW: producing value labels when value has decimal point

 From Maarten buis To statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu Subject Re: st: FW: producing value labels when value has decimal point Date Wed, 11 Aug 2010 20:50:46 +0000 (GMT)

```--- On Wed, 11/8/10, Miller, Ann C. wrote:
> I have been given a float variable in which the values are
> things like 1.1 ,1.2, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3.  These values
> correspond to diagnoses in a medical record, for example
> 1.1=diarrhea, 1.2=nausea/vomiting/other GI . and so on. I
> would like to create labels for this variable,but so far
> have been unable. I created a program to do this (see below)
> but the error message I got back was "may not label 1.1".

One solution is to turn these codes into integers by
mutliplying them by 10. This is a better format for storing
such categorical variables like these anyhow, as integers
can be stored exactly on computers while numbers like 1.1
can't.

*--------------- begin example -------------

clear all
input x
1.1
1.2
end

lab def se_code1           ///
11 "Nausea and vomiting"  ///
12"Diarrhea"

gen x10 = x*10
lab val x10 se_code1

// 1.1 cannot be stored exactly,
// which is the reason for the
// following weird behaviour:
count if x == 1.1

// here is one solution:
count if x == float(1.1)

// but easier is to use the
// the variable where the codes
// are stored as integers
count if x10 == 11
*---------------- end example -----------------
(For more on examples I sent to the Statalist see:
http://www.maartenbuis.nl/example_faq )

All this is related to the precision with which a
number is stored on a computer. A number of great
resources are:

William Gould (2006) "Mata matters: precision" The
Stata Journal, 6(4):550-560.
http://www.stata-journal.com/article.html?article=pr0025

Nicholas J. Cox (2006) "Stata tip 33: Sweet sixteen:
Hexadecimal formats and precision problems" The Stata
Journal, 6(2): 282-283.
http://www.stata-journal.com/article.html?article=dm0022

Jean Marie Linhart (2008) "Mata matters: Overflow,
underflow and the IEEE floating-point format" The
Stata Journal, 8(2): 255-268.
http://www.stata-journal.com/article.html?article=pr0038

http://www.stata.com/support/faqs/data/prec.html

http://www.stata.com/support/faqs/data/float.html

http://www.ats.ucla.edu/stat/stata/faq/longid.htm

http://www.michaelnormanmitchell.com/stow/floats-and-doubles.html

Hope this helps,
Maarten

--------------------------
Maarten L. Buis
Institut fuer Soziologie
Universitaet Tuebingen
Wilhelmstrasse 36
72074 Tuebingen
Germany

http://www.maartenbuis.nl
--------------------------

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```