Tag Archives: Ewen

Shapefiles from Isodensity Curves

Recently, with @3wen, we wanted to play with isodensity curves. The problem is that it is difficult to get – numerically – the equation of the contour (even if we can easily plot it). Consider the following surface (just for fun, in order to illustrate the idea)

> f=function(x,y) x*y+(1-x)*(1-y)
> u=v=seq(0,1,length=21)
> v=seq(0,1,length=11)
> f=outer(u,v,f)
> persp(u,v,f,theta=angle,phi=10,box=TRUE,
+ shade=TRUE,ticktype="detailed",xlab="",
+ ylab="",zlab="",col="yellow")

For instance, assume that we want to locate areas where the density exceed 0.7 (here in the lower left corner, SW, and the upper right corner, NE)

> image(u,v,f)
> contour(u,v,f,add=TRUE,levels=.7)

Continue reading Shapefiles from Isodensity Curves

Kernel Density Estimation with Ripley’s Circumferential Correction

The revised version of the paper Kernel Density Estimation with Ripley’s Circumferential Correction is now online, on hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/.

In this paper, we investigate (and extend) Ripley’s circumference method to correct bias of density estimation of edges (or frontiers) of regions. The idea of the method was theoretical and difficult to implement. We provide a simple technique — based of properties of Gaussian kernels — to efficiently compute weights to correct border bias on frontiers of the region of interest, with an automatic selection of an optimal radius for the method. We illustrate the use of that technique to visualize hot spots of car accidents and campsite locations, as well as location of bike thefts.

There are new applications, and new graphs, too

Most of the codes can be found on https://github.com/ripleyCorr/Kernel_density_ripley (as well as datasets).

Date of death, birthday and Elvis Presley

10 days ago, a study published on http://www.annalsofepidemiology.org/ mentioned that “Death has a preference for birthdays” (as claimed in the title). The conclusion of the paper is that, in general, birthdays do not evoke a postponement mechanism but appear to end up in a lethal way more frequently than expected (“anniversary reaction”). Well, this is not new, and several previous articles have mentioned that point, e.g. Angermeyer et al. (1987).

I found the idea interesting since in demography, there is a large literature trying to extrapolate death rates from discrete to continuous time. Extrapolation are usually extremely smooth. But none of them integrate that aspect of mortality precisely on the birthday. The problem is that it is rather difficult to say something since datasets with individual observations are rare, online.

But yesterday, @coulmont sent me a tweet mentioning a website. I do not know if this is legal (even if some explanations are given), but I will mention courtesy of http://ssdmf.info/. It is a so-called Social Security Death Master File, containing individual informations about deaths in the US, as well as geographic information (as described on http://www.ssa.gov/), for people having a social security number.

With R, it is possible to work on those files (even they are huge, with tens of millions observations). For instance, we can check who is inside.

> elvis=scan("ssdm2",skip=22371720,n=1,what="character",sep=",")
> elvis
[1] " 409522002PRESLEY         ELVIS     0800197701081935  "

If you believe that Elvis is dead, you might agree that this database can be accurate (or at least, not too bad). And further, we can see here how to read the result: Elvis was born on January 8, 1935 (8 last digits), and died on August 16, 1977 (8 digits before). Obviously here, there are some problems with the dataset (we do not have the day of the death of Elvis). So here, we remove all the observations that do not give us proper dates. Then, the idea is to assume that the person died in 2000 (or any year since the point is to focus on days and months). Then, we count the number of days between the day of death and the birthday in 2001 (that would have been after) and the one in 2000 (that was either before or after the death), so that we can derive the number of days after the birthday,

DIFF=apply(diffday,1,function(x) {min(x[x>=0])})

What we have here is the number of days following the previous birthday. If we look at the distribution of that number of days, we obtain

> counts["0"]/(mean(counts[100:200]))

Thus, the death excess on the day of birth was around 12%, which is rather close to the one obtained from the Swiss mortality statistics 1969–2008 (in Ajdacic-Gross et al. (2012)). Note that here, we just play with a small subset of the entire dataset,

That database is probably extremely interesting, except that it suffers a huge selection bias, since only dead people are in that database. So it might be useless if we wish to study life expectancy of people named Bill versus people named Georges (that was something I wanted to investigate initially). But we’ll see what else we can do with it (since Ewen have been able to write some code to go through that huge dataset).

Do you still have time to sleep ?

Last week, @3wen (Ewen) helped me to write nice R functions to extract tweets in R and build datasets containing a lot of information. I’ve tried a couple of time on my own. Once on tweet contents, but it was not convincing and once on the activity on Twitter following an event (e.g. the death of someone famous). I have to admit that I am not a big fan of databases that can be generated using standard function to study tweets. For instance, we can only extract tweets, notre-tweets (which is also an important indicator of tweet-activity). @3wen suggested to use


The first step is to extract some information from a tweet, and store it in a dataset (details can be found on https://dev.twitter.com/)

obtenir_ligne <- function(unTweet){
function(x,id_courant) c(id_courant,

Now that we  have the code to extract information from one tweet, let us find several tweets, from one user, say my account,


The (small) problem here, is that we have a limitation: we can only get 100 tweets per call of the function

",nom,"&count=",n,sep=""),what = "character",
1:length(tweets_courants)],collapse=" ")
method = "C")

Then, we use our function to build a database with 100 lines,

extracTweets <- lapply(tweets_courants,
function(x) x[[2]]))
res=t(sapply(extracTweets,function(x) x[[1]]))
colnames(res) <- list("id","date","text",

The idea then is simply to use a loop, based on the latest id observed


So, here we go,


what = "character", encoding="latin1")
1:length(tweets_courants)],collapse=" ")
method = "C")

extracTweets <- lapply(tweets_courants[
lapply(extracTweets,function(x) x[[2]])))
res=rbind(res,t(sapply(extracTweets,function(x) x[[1]])))
t(sapply(extracTweets,function(x) x[[1]]))


All the information about my own tweets (and re-tweets) are stored in a nice dataset. Actually, we have even more, since we have extracted also names of people mentioned in tweets,


We can look at people I mention in my tweets


> gazouillis[1:20]
tomroud freakonometrics       adelaigue       dmonniaux
155              84              77              56
J_P_Boucher         embruns      SkyZeLimit        coulmont
42              39              35              31
Fabrice_BM            3wen          obouba          msotod
31              30              29              27
StatFr     nholzschuch        renaudjf        squintar
26              25              23              23
Vicnent        pareto35        romainqc        valatini
23              22              22              22

If we plot those frequencies, we can clearly observe a standard Pareto distribution,

Now, let us spend some time with dates and time of tweets (it was the initial goal of this post)… One more time, there is a (small) technical problem that we have to deal with: language. We need a function to convert date in English (on Twitter) to dates in French (since I have a French version of R),

changer_date_anglais <- function(date_courante){
mois <- c("Jan","Fév", "Mar", "Avr", "Mai",
"Jui", "Jul", "Aoû", "Sep", "Oct", "Nov", "Déc")
months <- c("Jan", "Feb", "Mar", "Apr", "May",
"Jun", "Jul", "Aug", "Sep", "Oct", "Nov", "Dec")
jours <- c("Lun","Mar","Mer","Jeu",
days <- c("Mon","Tue","Wed","Thu",
leJour <- substr(date_courante,1,3)
leMois <- substr(date_courante,5,7)
return(paste(jours[match(leJour,days)]," ",

So now, it is possible to plot the times where I am online, tweeting,


"%a %b %d %H:%M:%S %z %Y")
lt= as.POSIXlt(DATE2, origin="1970-01-01")

On this graph, we can see that I am clearly not online almost 6 hours a day (or at least not on Twitter). It is possible to visualize more precisely the period of the day where I might be on Twitter,

hist(heure,breaks=0:24,col="light green",proba=TRUE)
d=density(X,n = 512, from=0, to=24,bw=1)

or, if we want to illustrate with some kind of heat plot,

Note that we did it for my Twitter account, but we can also run the code on (almost) anyone on Twitter. Consider e.g. @adelaigue. Since Alexandre is tweeting in France, we have to play with time-zones,

"%a %b %d %H:%M:%S %z %Y",tz = "GMT")+2*60*60

or I can also look at @skythelimit who’s usually twitting from Singapore (I am in Montréal). I can seen clearly when we might have overlaps,


Nice isn’t it. But it is possible to do much better… for instance, for those who do not ask specifically not to be Geo-located, we can see where they do tweet during the day, and during the night… I am quite sure a dozen posts with those functions can be written…

French dataset: population and GPS coordinates

A short post today based on recent work by @3wen (Ewen Gallic, graduate Student in Rennes, spending a year in Montreal). Since we were working on a detailed French dataset (per commune), we needed a dataset containing a list allcommunes, with population and location. GPS coordinates were extracted from Google, using the following php file, inspired by http://www.andrew-kirkpatrick.com/ on Google geocoding api with php webpage. Population was interpolated from INSEE’s datasets, i.e. http://www.insee.fr/ (since data are over a 35 year period, from 1975 to 2010, changes have been taken into account as carefully are possible – e.g. merges and splits of cities – based on thatdescription). A spline model has been used for all cities (with three degrees of freedom, and null and negative interpolation became one, since we’ll be using loglinear models afterwards). Names are from that dataset, still on INSEE’s website, http://www.insee.fr/.

A zipped file can be downloaded here popfr19752010.zip, but it is also possible to use the code below (it is a 24Mo dataset). Since it was hard to find such a dataset online (different files can be found, but we found none with population and location), we have decided to upload that dataset. Please let us know if there are problems with those data…

> base=read.csv(
+ "http://freakonometrics.free.fr/popfr19752010.csv",
+ header=TRUE)

Using that code, it is possible to locate all the communes in France (metropolitan), for instance

> library(maps)
> map("france")
> points(base$long,base$lat,cex=.1,col="red",pch=19)
> points(base$long,base$lat,cex=2*base$pop_2010/
+ max(base$pop_2010),col="blue",pch=19)

Several additional lines of code on that dataset (and also others) will be uploaded, soon.

Cette oeuvre est mise à disposition sous licence Paternité – Partage à l’Identique 3.0 non transposé. Pour voir une copie de cette licence, visitez http://creativecommons.org/. Date : 24 mai 2012, par Ewen GALLIC. Sources : INSEE, API Google Maps v3 et GeoHack (coordonnées GPS), propres calculs (estimation de population à partir des données INSEE).

  • reg : code region INSEE (character)
  • dep : code departement INSEE (character, corse 201 et 202 au lieu de 2A et 2B)
  • com : code commune INSEE (character)
  • article : article du nom de la commune (character)
  • com_nom : nom de la commune (character)
  • long : longitude (numeric)
  • lat : latitude (numeric)
  • pop_i : estimation de la population à la date i (ramenée à 1 si <=0), i=1975,…,2010 (numeric)