Looking at the Task View on a small screen is a bit like standing too close to a brick wall – left-right, up-down, bricks all around. It is a fantastic edifice that gives some idea of the significant contributions R developers have made both to the theory and practice of Survival Analysis. As well-organized as it is, however, I imagine that even survival analysis experts need some time to find their way around this task view. (I would be remiss not to mention that we all owe a great deal of gratitude to Arthur Allignol and Aurielien Latouche, the task view maintainers.) Newcomers, people either new to R or new to survival analysis or both, must find it overwhelming. So, it is with newcomers in mind that I offer the following slim trajectory through the task view that relies on just a few packages: survival, KMsurv, Oisurv and ranger
The survival package, which began life as an S package in the late ’90s, is the cornerstone of the entire R Survival Analysis edifice. Not only is the package itself rich in features, but the object created by the
Surv()function, which contains failure time and censoring information, is the basic survival analysis data structure in R.
Survival analysis is an interesting field of study. In engineering fields, the most common use is calculating mean time to failure, but that’s certainly not the only place you’re liable to see it.