Allows the user to set the symbol that GAUSS uses when missing values are converted to ASCII and vice versa.


msym str;


str:(literal or ^string (up to 8 letters)) if a string, and not surrounded by quotes, is forced to uppercase. This is the string to be printed for missing values. The default is ‘.’.


In the example below, you first create simulated data. The data represents the scores that a group of students received on a particular test and also the time that they took. For your calculations, you only want to consider data from students that completed the test in less than 80 minutes.

The code below replaces the scores from students that took more than 80 minutes with missing values. It uses the msym keyword to change the visual representation used for missing values from a ‘.’ to a ‘T’. Though, note that the underlying elements are still missing values, not character or string elements.

// Set seed for repeatable random numbers
rndseed 543124;

// Random integers with a mean of 70 and range of 20 to
// represent time taken for test
testTime = ceil(30 * rndu(10, 1)) + 60;

// Random integers with a mean of 1000 and a standard
// deviation of 10
score = ceil(10 * rndn(10, 1)) + 1000;

// Maximum allowed time for test
maxTime = 80;

// Create a mask for times greater than maxTime
mask = testTime .> maxTime;

// Set scores to be missing values if testTime is greater
// than maxTime
mScores = missex(score, mask);

// Set missing values to print as 'T' to represent that the
// score was invalid because the student took too much time
msym "T";

format /rd 4,0;
print mScores;

The code above will return:



The entire string will be printed out when converting to ASCII in print and printfm() statements.

When converting ASCII to binary in loadm and let statements, only the first character is significant. In other words,

msym HAT;

will cause ‘H’ to be converted to missing on input.

This does not affect writer(), which outputs data in binary format.

Note that msym is a keyword and not a variable being assigned to, so there is no equals sign between msym and the string that is being passed to it.

See also

Functions print, printfm()