Comprehensive Library for Working with Missing (NA) Values in Vectors

This comprehensive toolkit provide a consistent and extensible framework for working with missing values in vectors. The companion package 'tidyimpute' provides similar functionality for list-like and table-like structures). Functions exist for detection, removal, replacement, imputation, recollection, etc. of 'NAs'.

CRAN_Status_Badge License Downloads is a comprehensive library for handling missing (NA) values. It has several goals:

  1. extend existing stats::na.*() functions,
  2. provide a collection for all functions for working with missing data together, and
  3. provide a consistent and intuitive interface.

In this package, there are methods for the detection, removal, replacement, --imputation--, recollection, etc. of missing values (NAs). This libraries focus is on vectors (atomics). For tidy/dplyr compliant methods operating on tables and lists, please use the tidyimpute package which depends on this package.



devtools::install_github( "decisionpatterns/")



Feature List

  • Over 70 functions for working with missing values (See [#Function List] below.)
  • Standardizes and extends na.* functions found in the stats package.
  • Extensible S3 methods
  • Calculate statistics on missing values: n_na, pct_na
  • Remove missing values: na.rm
  • Replacement/Imputation:
    • Type/class and length-safe replacement. ( will never change the length or class of its argument.) produce an object with a different length/nrow or type/class of its target.)
    • Three types of imputations:
      • constant
      • univariate commutative (order-independent)
      • univariate mom-commutative (order-dependent), e.g time series data
    • Replace using scalar, vector or function(s)
  • Easy mnemonics:
    • functions beginning with na. return a transformed version of the input vector with missing values imputes/

Upcoming features

  • recall/track which values have been replaced and how.


x <- 1:3
x[2] <- NA_real_
na.replace(x, 2) 
na.replace(x, mean)     # error
na.replace(x, na.mean)  # Works  

Function List


  • na.n - Count mising values
  • na.pct - Calculate pct of missing values

Identification and Tests

  • - Return logical or character indicating which elements are missing
  • (na.all) - test if all elements are missing
  • (na.any) - test if any elements are missing

Removal / Ommision / Exclusion

  • na.rm - remove NAs (with tables is equivalent to drop_cols_all_na )
  • na.trim - remove NAs from beginning or end (non-commutative/order matters)

Replacement / Imputation

There are two types of imputation methods for plain vectors. They are distinguished by their replacement values.

Imputation by constant

In "constant" imputation methods, missing values are replaced by an a priori selected constant value. No calculation are performed to derive replacement values and all missing value assume the same transformied value.

  • : Replace NAs with 0
  • na.true | na.false : ... TRUE
  • na.inf / na.neginf : ... Inf / -Inf
  • na.constant : constant value .na

Imputation by function

In functional imputation, the value is calculated from the vector containing the missing value(s) -- and only that vector. Missing values may impute to different values. Replacement values may (or may not) be affected by the ording of the vector.

Cummatative functions

Commutative functions provide the same result irregarless of the ordering of the input vectors. Therefore, these functions do not depend on the ordering of elements of the input vector.

(When imputing in a table, imputation by function is also called column-based imputation since replacement values derive from the single column. Table-based imputation is found in the tidyimpute package.)

  • na.max - maximum
  • na.min - minumum
  • na.mean - mean
  • na.median - median value
  • na.quantile - quantile value
  • na.sample/na.random - randomly sampled value

** Non-commulative functions **s

  • na.cummax - cumulative max
  • na.cummin - cumulative min
  • na.cumsum - cumulative sum
  • na.cumprod - cumulative prod

General Imputation

  • na.replace/na.explicit - atomic vectors only. General replacement function
  • na.unreplace/na.implicit - turn explicit values back into NAs

See Also

A number of other packages have methods for working with missing values and/or imputation. Here is a short, incomplete and growing list:


Version 0.3.0

  • add na.true and na.false
  • Replace na.most_freq with na.mode

Version 0.2.1

  • Fix canonical link to multivariate task view
  • Remove tools directory from task view

Version 0.2.0

  • Add NA_explicit_ as an exported constant for explicit categorical values.
  • Convert man to use markdown.
  • Remove old aliases

Version (2018-01-22)

  • Fix na_replace (and na_explicit) to add levels for values if they do not already exist.
  • Add tests
  • Fix documentation

Version (2017-08-22)

  • Add na_explicit and na_implicit


  • na_replace: revert from using ifelse because of edge cases
  • add zzz.R
  • add
  • add tests for na_replace


  • na_replace now uses ifelse and prevent recycling value

Reference manual

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0.3.1 by Christopher Brown, 3 years ago

Report a bug at

Browse source code at

Authors: Christopher Brown [aut, cre] , Decision Patterns [cph]

Documentation:   PDF Manual  

GPL-3 | file LICENSE license

Imports stats, methods

Suggests testthat

Suggested by ordering.

See at CRAN