List of built-in data sets, please
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It would be great if Matlab documentation included a list of built-in data sets. This question has been asked before (2012, 2013, 2014, on statckoverflow) with at least 2200 views in the past 30 days but still I cannot find such a list.
The Statistics and Machine Learning Toolbox provides such a list as does the Econometrics Toolbox and the Deep Learning Toolbox.
The built-in mat files can be found within the matlabroot (see line of code below) but a list provided in the documentation would be helpful because...
- The built-in data sets aren't just in 1 folder; they are distributed across many folders - some folders that we may not think to look in
- It's best for users to avoid poking around in the root directories anyway
- Not all mat files in the root directories are example data sets so a function that scrapes mat files from root directories isn't efficient
- A documented list makes it easy to quickly recall a file name to a data set we are already familiar with
- Quickly accessing built-in data makes it easy to test ideas rather than having to generate a fake data set
- With a documented list, we can become more familiar with data sets provided by Matlab instead of discovering them after years of daily Matlab use
- In the future, we can reference archived documentation to determine when a data set became available
Who do we need to lobby to get this list in the official documentation?
More Answers (3)
Wendy Fullam on 25 Nov 2019
Just a side note that this request has also been shared with our documentation team for consideration on how to make this easier, going forward.
Steven Lord on 13 Nov 2019
What do you consider a data set?
The census MAT-file in toolbox/matlab/demos (used here among other places) seems like it's obviously a data set. So does outages.csv (used here.)
Are peppers.png and ngc6543a.jpg (used here) also data sets? They're image data, "peppers" appearing on 38 pages in the documentation for MATLAB and 61 times in Image Processing Toolbox. "ngc6543a" occurs less frequently, but still on 19 pages in the documentation for MATLAB.
What about the video file shuttle.avi (used here?)
Does the peaks function (often used in examples to create a simple piece of data to visualize as a surface plot) count as data or code? What about the functions that generate the predefined colormaps or the gallery function?
You can submit an enhancement request to Technical Support asking for such a list to be added to the documentation for one or more products. It would be useful to include in that enhancement request what constitutes a data set in your mind and what information about each data set you'd expect to see in such a list.