what does the indices function return?

I have a dataset file in which uno is a column.

{ weight,wtind } = indices(dataset,"uno"). 

Here, when I'm printing wtind it's giving the column number of uno and in case of  weight the output is +DEN. What does this mean?

1 Answer


indices is an older GAUSS function. The first return from indices is a character vector. Character vectors were how GAUSS dealt with text way back before it had string arrays.

A character vector packs text inside of a matrix element. There is no special indication that the matrix contains text, so the standard print statement will interpret the data as floating point numeric data and you will see +DEN, because that sort of data is not valid floating point data. +DEN stands for "denormal".

To tell GAUSS to print the data in a character vector as string data, you have to prepend the data with a dollar sign. Here is an example which will work with one of the example datasets that ships with GAUSS.

// Get the file name with full path
fname = getGAUSSHome() $+ "examples/cancer.dat";

// Find the index of the variable stage
{ name, idx } = indices(fname, "stage");

print $name;
print idx;

This will code will print


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