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Re: Study about accuracy of statistical software, incl. Octave

From: Jaroslav Hajek
Subject: Re: Study about accuracy of statistical software, incl. Octave
Date: Tue, 24 Mar 2009 15:35:01 +0100

On Tue, Mar 24, 2009 at 3:07 PM, John W. Eaton <address@hidden> wrote:
> On 22-Mar-2009, Ivan Sutoris wrote:
> | Through R-help mailing list, I've stumbled upon an upcoming study
> | comparing accuracy of free statistical software (R, Python, Ox and
> | Octave), which I thought may be of some interest here. For Octave
> | (authors used version 2.9.12), they report some problems with accuracy
> | when computing correlation coefficient (corrcoef), quantiles for some
> | distributions (tinv, chi2inv) and for linear regression (regress from
> | Octave-Forge). Here is the reference and link:
> |
> | Almiron, M. and Almeida, E. S. and Miranda, M.: The Reliability of
> | Statistical Functions in Four Software Packages Freely used in
> | Numerical Computation. (to appear in) Brazilian Journal of Probability
> | and Statistics, Special Issue on Statistical Image and Signal
> | Processing
> |
> Writing a paper complaining about problems in free software is a
> ridiculous thing to do.  Instead of writing a paper, they should have
> reported the problems so that they might be fixed.
> jwe

Not really. For instance, co-authoring a paper in an impacted journal
about any piece of my work on Octave would be a big plus for me. Time
will probably come when I will need to justify my continuing work on
Octave (there's still a lot of interesting stuff and so little
time...) as a part of our research grant. Papers in impacted journals
are relatively highly ranked, so that would help. Unfortunately, I
have no idea what nor where to publish :(
Results that are ranked include software. Sadly, I don't think that
the quality or number of users of the software are taken into account.
Patents are also highly ranked; but I think patenting ideas from
Octave is out of question, even with the protection GPL3 brings;
software patents are just plain nonsense.


RNDr. Jaroslav Hajek
computing expert & GNU Octave developer
Aeronautical Research and Test Institute (VZLU)
Prague, Czech Republic

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