Skip to main content

An Introduction to R

  • Chapter
  • First Online:
System Dynamics Modeling with R

Part of the book series: Lecture Notes in Social Networks ((LNSN))


This chapter introduces R, a dialect of the S language, which was developed at Bell Laboratories. R’s inventor Dr. John Chambers was awarded the 1998 Association of Computing Machinery Software award. In its citation, the ACM noted that S will forever alter the way people analyze, visualize, and manipulate data. R’s mission is to enable the best and most thorough exploration of data possible. R is open-source software (GNU General Public License), and has statistical, data manipulation, and visualization libraries. R is a functional programming language, where software programs are organized into functions that can be invoked to transform data. This chapter describes key R elements, including vectors, lists, matrices, data frames and functions. It concludes by presenting a system dynamics model of customer growth, which is implemented using the deSolve open source package. Appendix A summarizes the installation process for R, and the reader is recommended to work through this chapter using the R Studio console, so that the short examples can be executed.

Exploration is our mission; we and those who use our software want to find new paths to understand the data and the underlying processes.

John M. Chambers, Software for Data Analysis (2008, p. 3).

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or eBook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

USD 29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
USD 89.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as EPUB and PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Softcover Book
USD 119.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info
Hardcover Book
USD 119.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Durable hardcover edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Institutional subscriptions


  • Chambers J (2008) Software for data analysis: programming with R. Springer Science & Business Media, Chicago

    Google Scholar 

  • Chang W (2013) R graphics cookbook. O’Reilly Media Inc., Sebastapol, CA

    Google Scholar 

  • Matloff N (2009) The art of R programming. No Starch Press, San Francisco, CA

    Google Scholar 

  • Soetaert KER, Petzoldt T, Setzer RW (2010) Solving differential equations in R: package deSolve. J Stat Soft 33

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Jim Duggan .

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 2016 Springer International Publishing Switzerland

About this chapter

Cite this chapter

Duggan, J. (2016). An Introduction to R. In: System Dynamics Modeling with R. Lecture Notes in Social Networks. Springer, Cham.

Download citation

  • DOI:

  • Published:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-319-34041-8

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-319-34043-2

  • eBook Packages: Computer ScienceComputer Science (R0)

Publish with us

Policies and ethics