Thomas Baier and Erich Neuwirth
High-Level Interface Between R and Excel
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Spreadsheet programs in general and Microsoft Excel in particular
implement a very special paradigm of computing: automatic creation
of dependency structures for calculation, and automatic
recalculation when input values change. This is rather different
from the usual model of batch processing underlying most statistics
software, e.g. R.
Since some time now, a COM server implementation for R has been
available. As a more recent development, R can also act as COM
client, using Excel as a server. So we can either think of R as an
extension of Excel, or of Excel as a utility program (and data editor)
for R.
We will discuss the differences between these 2 approaches, and
their relative merits under different circumstances. This will be
done by showing examples of applications implementing these rather
different models for statistical computation.
Emphasis will be more on the philosophy and style of statistical
analysis than on technical implementation details.