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conditional lag

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Super Contributor
Posts: 271

conditional lag

 

Hello,

 

Can someone explain me the lag fuction in terms of 'QUEUE'?  Also why conditional lag can give incorrect result?

 

http://www.howles.com/saspapers/CC33.pdf

 

Thanks !

Super User
Posts: 7,762

Re: conditional lag

Posted in reply to SAS_inquisitive

The lag() function works like a FIFO (first-in-first-out) queue. It only gets a value when it is called. Calling it conditionally will result in not all values being fed into the queue, and therefore unwanted results.

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Maxims of Maximally Efficient SAS Programmers
Super Contributor
Posts: 271

Re: conditional lag

Posted in reply to KurtBremser

@KurtBremser I wonder if you have an example for this?

Super User
Posts: 7,762

Re: conditional lag

Posted in reply to SAS_inquisitive

I leave that as an exercise for the reader. It's really simple to devise code that illustrates this.


SAS_inquisitive wrote:

@KurtBremser I wonder if you have an example for this?


 

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Maxims of Maximally Efficient SAS Programmers
Super Contributor
Posts: 271

Re: conditional lag

[ Edited ]
Posted in reply to KurtBremser

@KurtBremser Thank you. Looks like this paper has really good examples. 

 

http://www.lexjansen.com/nesug/nesug10/cc/cc22.pdf

Super Contributor
Posts: 271

Re: conditional lag

Posted in reply to SAS_inquisitive

Let's I have a mock data set.

 

data mock;

   input x;

 cards;

1

2

3

;

run;

 

When I execute lag(x), what would be the value in queue 3 or 1? Is there anyway we can see the values in queue?

 

Thanks !

Super Contributor
Posts: 271

Re: conditional lag

Posted in reply to SAS_inquisitive

so here is my understanding, when x = 1, there is nothing in the queue, hence it returns missing value. When X=2, 1 is in the queue and it returns 1. Similarly when x =3, 2 is in the queue, and it returns a value of 2.

PROC Star
Posts: 1,322

Re: conditional lag

[ Edited ]
Posted in reply to SAS_inquisitive

Your understanding is correct.  I don't think there s a way to see what is inside the queue, other than pushing values into the queue to push them out. 

 

Definitely take the time to play around with conditional lags, to convince yourself that the lag() function works when called conditionally.  Far too many people mistakenly think there is a bug in the lag function and that it should never be called conditionally. It works perfectly fine conditionally, you just need to understand how a queue works.  e.g., think about what you should expect from:

 

data _null_;
  set mock;
  if x IN (2,3) then lag=lag(x);
  put x= lag=;
run;

 

 

Also worth playing with lags with longer queues, e.g.:

data _null_;
  set mock;
  lag1=lag1(x);
  lag2=lag2(x);
  lag3=lag3(x);
  put (x lag1 lag2 lag3)(=);
run;

 

Super User
Posts: 7,762

Re: conditional lag

Posted in reply to SAS_inquisitive

To slightly expand your code and show the problems of a conditional lag, just do this:

data mock;
input x;
cards;
1
2
3
4
5
;
run;

data test;
set mock;
if x ne 3 then x1 = lag(x);
run;

proc print data=test noobs;
run;

The result shows the effect of lag() not being called in obs 3:

x    x1

1     .
2     1
3     .
4     2
5     4
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Maxims of Maximally Efficient SAS Programmers
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