Shufflevar [update]

February 1, 2010 at 4:33 am 1 comment

| Gabriel |

I wrote a more flexible version of shufflevar (here’s the old version) and an accompanying help file. The new version allows shuffling an entire varlist (rather than just one variable) jointly or independently and shuffling within clusters. The easiest way to install the command is to type:
ssc install shufflevar
For thoughts on this and related algorithms, see my original shufflevar post and/or the lecture notes on bootstrapping for my grad stats class.
Here’s the code.

*1.0 GHR January 29, 2010
capture program drop shufflevar
program define shufflevar
	version 10
	syntax varlist(min=1) [ , Joint DROPold cluster(varname)]
	tempvar oldsortorder
	gen `oldsortorder'=[_n]
	if "`joint'"=="joint" {
		tempvar newsortorder
		gen `newsortorder'=uniform()
		sort `cluster' `newsortorder'
		foreach var in `varlist' {
			capture drop `var'_shuffled
			quietly gen `var'_shuffled=`var'[_n-1]
			quietly replace `var'_shuffled=`var'[_N] in 1/1
			if "`dropold'"=="dropold" {
				drop `var'
			}
		}
		sort `oldsortorder'
		drop `newsortorder' `oldsortorder'
	}
	else {
		foreach var in `varlist' {
			tempvar newsortorder
			gen `newsortorder'=uniform()
			sort `cluster' `newsortorder'
			capture drop `var'_shuffled
			quietly gen `var'_shuffled=`var'[_n-1]
			quietly replace `var'_shuffled=`var'[_N] in 1/1
			drop `newsortorder'
			if "`dropold'"=="dropold" {
				drop `var'
			}
		}
		sort `oldsortorder'
		drop `oldsortorder'
	}
end

And here’s the help file.

{smcl}
{* 29jan2010}{...}
{hline}
help for {hi:shufflevar}
{hline}

{title:Randomly shuffle variables}

{p 8 17 2}
{cmd:shufflevar} {it:varlist}[, {cmdab: Joint DROPold cluster}({it:varname})]

{title:Description}

{p 4 4 2}
{cmd:shufflevar} takes {it:varlist} and either jointly or for each variable
shuffles {it:varlist} relative to the rest of the dataset. This means any
association between {it:varlist} and the rest of the dataset will be random.
Much like {help bootstrap} or the Quadratic Assignment Procedure (QAP), one
can build a distribution of results out of randomness to serve as a baseline
against which to compare empirical results, especially for overall model-fit
or clustering measures.

{title:Remarks}

{p 4 4 2}
The program is intended for situations where it is hard to model error
formally, either because the parameter is exotic or because the application
violates the parameter's assumptions. For instance, the algorithm has been
used by Fernandez et. al. and Zuckerman to interpret network data, the author
wrote this implementation for use in interpreting {help st} frailty models
with widely varying cluster sizes, and others have suggested using the metric
for adjacency matrices in spatial analysis.

{p 4 4 2}
Much like {help bsample}, the {cmd:shufflevar} command is only really useful
when worked into a {help forvalues} loop or {help program} that records the
results of each iteration using {help postfile}. See the example code below to
see how to construct the loop.

{p 4 4 2}
To avoid confusion with the actual data, the shuffled variables are renamed
{it:varname}_shuffled.

{p 4 4 2}
This command is an implementation of an algorithm used in two papers that used
it to measure network issues:

{p 4 4 2}
Fernandez, Roberto M., Emilio J. Castilla, and Paul Moore. 2000. "Social
Capital at Work: Networks and Employment at a Phone Center." {it:American Journal of Sociology} 105:1288-1356.

{p 4 4 2}
Zuckerman, Ezra W. 2005. "Typecasting and Generalism in Firm and Market: Career-Based Career Concentration in the Feature Film Industry, 1935-1995." {it:Research in the Sociology of Organizations} 23:173-216.

{title:Options}

{p 4 8 2}
{cmd:joint} specifies that {it:varlist} will be keep their actual relations to
one another even as they are shuffled relative to the rest of the variables.
If {cmd:joint} is omitted, each variable in the {it:varlist} will be
shuffled separately.

{p 4 8 2}
{cmd:dropold} specifies that the original sort order versions of {it:varlist}
will be dropped.

{p 4 8 2}
{cmd:cluster}({it:varname}) specifies that shuffling will occur by {it:varname}.

{title:Examples}

{p 4 8 2}{cmd:. sysuse auto, clear}{p_end}
{p 4 8 2}{cmd:. regress price weight}{p_end}
{p 4 8 2}{cmd:. local obs_r2=`e(r2)'}{p_end}
{p 4 8 2}{cmd:. tempname memhold}{p_end}
{p 4 8 2}{cmd:. tempfile results}{p_end}
{p 4 8 2}{cmd:. postfile `memhold' r2 using "`results'"}{p_end}
{p 4 8 2}{cmd:. forvalues i=1/100 {c -(}}{p_end}
{p 4 8 2}{cmd:. 	shufflevar weight, cluster(foreign)}{p_end}
{p 4 8 2}{cmd:. 	quietly regress price weight_shuffled}{p_end}
{p 4 8 2}{cmd:. 	post `memhold' (`e(r2)')}{p_end}
{p 4 8 2}{cmd:. }}{p_end}
{p 4 8 2}{cmd:. postclose `memhold'}{p_end}
{p 4 8 2}{cmd:. use "`results'", clear}{p_end}
{p 4 8 2}{cmd:. sum r2}{p_end}
{p 4 8 2}{cmd:. disp "The observed R^2 of " `obs_r2' " is " (`obs_r2'-`r(mean)')/`r(sd)' " sigmas out on the" _newline "distribution of shuffled R^2s."}{p_end}

{title:Author}

{p 4 4 2}Gabriel Rossman, UCLA{break}
rossman@soc.ucla.edu

{title:Also see}

{p 4 13 2}On-line:
help for {help bsample},
help for {help forvalues},
help for {help postfile},
help for {help program}

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1 Comment

  • 1. Shufflevar update « Code and Culture  |  January 25, 2011 at 1:29 am

    […] to Elizabeth Blankenspoor (Michigan) I corrected a bug with the “cluster” option in shufflevar. I’ve submitted the update to SSC but it’s also […]


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