R Objects

title: Objects in R


R allows the user to save the data by storing it inside an object.

What’s an object?

An object is a name that you can use to call up stored data. For example, you can save data into an object like a or b.

> a <- 5 > a [1] 5

There are many types of objects in R. Two of the most common are as lists and functions.
Example of a list:

> a <- list(1, "Hello, world!", FALSE)

Lists can contain mixed types of data (number, string and boolean in this example).

There are many built in functions in R. The user can also make a ‘user defined’ function, as you see below.
The following creates the function circleArea that calculates the area of a circle (A = π r2).

>circleArea <- function(r){ A <- pi * r^2 return(A) }

How to create an Object in R?

  1. To create an R object, choose a name and then use the less-than symbol, <,
    followed by a minus sign, -, to save data into it. This combination looks like an
    arrow, <-. R will make an object, give it your name, and store in it whatever
    follows the arrow. You can also use the ‘=’ sign, but this is a less common method to assign a value to an object and generally frowned upon.
  2. When the user calls the object in the console it provides the output on the next line. For example:
> die <- 1:6 > die [1] 1 2 3 4 5 6
  1. You can name an object in R almost anything you want, but there are a few rules. First,
    a name cannot start with a number.
    Second, a name cannot use some special symbols, like ^, !, $, @, +, -, /, or *:
  2. R also understands capitalization (or is case-sensitive), so name and Name will refer to different objects.
  3. You can see which object names you have already used with the function ls().


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