What ~ (tilde) command do?

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I saw in a tutorial about regression modeling the following command :

myFormula <- Species ~ Sepal.Length + Sepal.Width + Petal.Length + Petal.Width

What exactly does this command do, and what is the role of ~ (tilde) in the command?

Oct 30, 2018 in Data Analytics by Ali
• 10,450 points
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1 answer to this question.

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Something that characterizes formulas in R is the tilde operator ~. With this operator, you can actually say: "capture the meaning of this code, without evaluating it right away”. That also explains why you can think of a formula in R as a "quoting" operator.

But what does a formula exactly look like? Take a closer look at the following line of code:

# A formula
c <- y ~ x
d <- y ~ x + b
# Double check the class of `c`
class(c)

'formula'

The variable on the left-hand side of a tilde (~) is called the "dependent variable", while the variables on the right-hand side are called the "independent variables" and are joined by plus signs +.

answered Oct 30, 2018 by Maverick
• 10,040 points

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