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# Re: st: Sorting relationship dates to get a correct chronological sequence

 From Anna Reimondos <[email protected]> To [email protected] Subject Re: st: Sorting relationship dates to get a correct chronological sequence Date Mon, 10 Jan 2011 21:05:49 +1100

```Dear Nick
Thanks for the reply, I see what you mean. It looks like I will need
to do some work on the data to achieve my desired result; I will try
imputing the dates based on some logical rules about the relationship
orders.

Cheers
Anna

On Mon, Jan 10, 2011 at 8:31 PM, Nick Cox <[email protected]> wrote:
> Your problem does not look soluble to me unless you impute dates that
> are consistent with what you can infer about the time order of
> relationships.
>
> Nick
>
> On Mon, Jan 10, 2011 at 2:50 AM, Anna Reimondos <[email protected]> wrote:
>
>> I am having trouble thinking of a way to sort my data they way I would like to.
>>
>> What I am trying to do is to sort people's relationships in the
>> chronological order that they happened.
>>
>> I have separate pieces of information about the start and end dates of
>> all 1) cohabitations 2) marriages.
>>
>> EXAMPLE
>> A person might have had 5 relationships:  3 cohabitations and 2
>> marriages. The second marriage is still ongoing.
>>  In long format the data looks like:
>>
>> Person    Relationship                 Star Year     End Year
>> 1             Cohabitation 1              2001             2001
>> 1             Cohabitation 2              -1 missing    -1 missing
>> 1             Cohabitation 3              -1 missing     -1 missing
>> 1             Marriage 1                    1998              2000
>> 1             Marriage 2                     2008            -20 (Ongoing)
>>
>>
>> I have tried sorting the data by start year, to get the chronological
>> order correct but obviously run into problems with the relationships
>> that have missing start or end dates since these have negative values
>> and therefore appear first, as such:
>>
>> Person  Relationship                 Star Year     EndYear
>> 1             Cohabitation 2              -1 missing    -1 missing
>> 1             Cohabitation 3              -1 missing     -1 missing
>> 1             Marriage 1                    1998              2000
>> 1             Cohabitation 1                2001            2001
>> 1             Marriage 2                     2008            -20 (Ongoing)
>>
>>
>> However, this is wrong because obviously Cohabitation 2 and
>> Cohabitation 3 must have occured *after* Cohabitation 1.
>> The actual correct order I am trying to achieve is : Marriage 1,
>> Cohabitation 1, Cohabitation 2, Cohabitation 3, Marriage 2.
>> I was hoping someone would have a suggestions of how I could achieve
>> the correct sequence. I think I will have to use a loop maybe?
>
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```

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