By Bradley Efron, Gail Gong (auth.), William F. Eddy (eds.)
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Additional info for Computer Science and Statistics: Proceedings of the 13th Symposium on the Interface
I have no doubt that statistical packages as we know them today will continue to exist and to be used extensively. But they are not the wave of the future. ) Innovations in statistical computing and data analysis will not likely come from the developers of packages as part of their current products. First, we shall consider the capabilities and limitations of such machines as the Apple II, the TRS-SO, and the PET. Then, as preparation for looking into the future, we shall briefly examine the nature of the step from batch to interactive computing insofar as it has affected the practice of statistics.
Personal computers differ from most computing equipment with which we are familiar in two respects. First, since the computer is located close to the peripheral devices, the system can operate at very high data rates. Instead of the typical 30 characters per second at which terminals communicate over telephone lines with computers, a PC can communicate with nearby devices at rates up to 64 times as fast (19200 baud). An example of a program designed expressly to take advantage of high data rates is EMACS, the screen-oriented text editor developed by Project MAC.
Interactive computing enables us to select our next command after having seen the results of its predecessor. Whereas in writing programs for batch SCPs the choice of the next command can be based only upon the expected outcomes of previous commands, in writing programs for interactive SCPs, that choice can depend on the actual outcome of earlier commands. Batch and interactive SCPs share some common structural features. In each case, programs consist of the. , output), inference (based on actual or expected output), and then command once again.