rcorty rcorty - 1 year ago 83
R Question

How can I replace one term in an R formula with two?

I have something along the lines of

y ~ x + z

And I would like to transform it to

y ~ x_part1 + x_part2 + z

More generally, I would like to have a function that takes a formula and returns that formula with all terms that match "^x$" replaced by "x_part1" and "x_part2". Here's my current solution, but it just feels so kludgey...

my.formula <- fruit ~ apple + banana
var.to.replace <- 'apple'
my.terms <- labels(terms(my.formula))
new.terms <- paste0('(',
c('_part1', '_part2'),
collapse = '+'),
new.formula <- reformulate(termlabels = gsub(pattern = var.to.replace,
replacement = new.terms,
x = my.terms),
response = my.formula[[2]])

An additional caveat is that the input formula may be specified with interactions.

y ~ b*x + z

should output one of these (equivalent) formulae

y ~ b*(x_part1 + x_part2) + z
y ~ b + (x_part1 + x_part2) + b:(x_part1 + x_part2) + z
y ~ b + x_part1 + x_part2 + b:x_part1 + b:x_part2 + z

MrFlick has advocated the use of

substitute(y ~ b*x + z, list(x=quote(x_part1 + x_part2)))

but when I have stored the formula I want to modify in a variable, as in

my.formula <- fruit ~ x + banana

This approach seems to require a little more massaging:

substitute(my.formula, list(x=quote(apple_part1 + apple_part2)))
# my.formula

Answer Source

You can use the substitute function for this

substitute(y ~ b*x + z, list(x=quote(x_part1 + x_part2)))
# y ~ b * (x_part1 + x_part2) + z

Here we use the named list to tell R to replace the variable x with the expression x_part1 + x_part2

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