In this paper we show how Perl, an expressive and extensible high-level programming language, with network and object-oriented programming support, can be used in processing data for statistics and statistical computing. The paper is organized in two parts. In Part I, we introduce the Perl programming language, with particular emphasis on the features that distinguish it from conventional languages. Then, using practical examples, we demonstrate how Perl's distinguishing features make it particularly well suited to perform labor intensive and sophisticated tasks ranging from the preparation of data to the writing of statistical reports. In Part II we show how Perl can be extended to perform statistical computations using modules and by "embedding" specialized statistical applications. We provide example on how Perl can be used to perform simple statistical analyses and more complex statistical computations involving matrix algebra and numerical optimization. We also investigate the numerical and statistical reliability of various Perl statistical modules. Important computing issues such as ease of use, speed of calculation, and efficient memory usage, are also considered.
- Data processing
- Statistical computing