Installation of WRS package (Wilcox’ Robust Statistics)

Update Feb 17, 2014: WRS moved to Github – This installation procedure has been updated and still is valid

Some users had trouble installing the WRS package from R-Forge. Here’s a method that should work automatically and fail-safe:

# first: install dependent packages
install.packages(c("MASS", "akima", "robustbase"))

# second: install suggested packages
install.packages(c("cobs", "robust", "mgcv", "scatterplot3d", "quantreg", "rrcov", "lars", "pwr", "trimcluster", "parallel", "mc2d", "psych", "Rfit"))

# third: install an additional package which provides some C functions

# fourth: install WRS
install_github("nicebread/WRS", subdir="pkg")

WRS cannot be hosted on CRAN, as CRAN demands help files for every user-visible function. This has not been done for WRS (yet). For the time being, this somewhat more complicated installation routine has to be used.

Comments (29) | Trackback

29 Responses to “Installation of WRS package (Wilcox’ Robust Statistics)”

  1. Peter Ellis says:

    Hi – doesn’t seem to work at the moment (July 2013). Has it been locked off?

  2. FelixS says:

    Yup, R-Forge is down until 12 July 2013:
    If you can’t wait, download the functions from

  3. Heidi says:

    Hi Felix, just to say many thanks for the helpful code.

  4. […] [Update Aug 2013: For a fail safe installation routine, see this up-to-date post: Installation of the WRS package] […]

  5. […] For a fail-safe installation of the package, follow this instruction. […]

  6. FelixS says:

    Update Sep 19 (v. 0.23.2): Due to an error in the NAMESPACE file the functions were not exported. Works with 0.23.2.

  7. […] from the WRS package compares user-defined quantiles of both distributions using a Harrell–Davis estimator in conjunction with a percentile bootstrap. The method seems to improve over other methods: “Currently, when there are tied values, no other method has been found that performs reasonably well. Even with no tied values, method HD can provide a substantial gain in power when q ≤ .25 or q ≥ .75 compared to other techniques that have been proposed”. The method is described in the paper “Comparing two independent groups via the upper and lower quantiles” by Wilcox, Erceg-Hurn, Clark and Carlson (2013). You can use the function as soon as you install the latest version of the WRS package following this installation instruction. […]

  8. […] Update: For installation of the WRS package, please use only the fail-safe installation procedure described here! […]

  9. Shu Fai says:

    Thanks for the instruction. Just a simple question. I noticed that there is also a project called WRScppWin. If I run R for Windows, should I install that package instead of WRScpp?

  10. ThomasB says:

    Dear FelixS, I’ve been trying to install WRS on R 3.1.1 (on MacOS), following your highly useful method above, but to no avail. None of the WRS functions (e.g. t2way) is recognised, even though library(WRS) does not yield any error messages. Do you think there may be any problem with my R version (which is the most recent one, as far as I know).
    Thanks a lot!

  11. Maggie says:

    Can’t seem to get this to work for R 3.1.2, is it compatible?

  12. max says:

    What is the status of the WRS2 package at CRAN? Is it better to use that (v. 0.3-1) or the version (0.27.5) from github?

    • FelixS says:

      WRS2 on CRAN provides a limited subset of the full WRS package on Github, and it lacks somewhat behind, as it has to be adapted to changes on the github package. But, WRS2 provides help files for the included functions and more user-friendly interfaces for some functions.

      If you only use functions provided in WRS2, use this package. If you need other functions of WRS, or want the cutting edge version, use WRS from Github.

      • max says:

        Thanks a lot for the clarification! Reading the version numbers I had the impression that WRS2 is newer (better) than WRS.

      • FelixS says:

        Oh, the version numbers are entirely unrelated.

  13. Georgia says:

    I keep getting this error

    install_github(“nicebread/WRS”, subdir=”pkg”)
    Error: could not find function “install_github”

    Do I need something else to work with WRS?

    • FelixS says:

      You need:


      • Georgia says:

        Yes, I did the whole script you provide including the devtools part. It just seems to hang up on the install_github part

      • FelixS says:

        The error message “Error: could not find function “install_github”” appears when you did not load the devtools package properly, using `library(devtools)`

  14. Dan says:


    I recently installed WRS via the method above (everything went fine) and am running the current version of R (3.3.0), but am having the same problem that ThomasB indicated above two years ago. I use library(WRS) and receive no error, but then R tells me that it “could not find function ‘t2way'” when I try to run the code. Is there any issue with the install files?


  15. Philippe says:

    Thanks for your work.
    WRScppWin won’t install on my PC (R v. 3.3.1, Windows 10).

    * installing *binary* package ‘WRScpp’ …
    cp: unknown option — )
    Try ‘/usr/bin/cp –help’ for more information.
    Warning: l’exécution de la commande ‘cp -R . “C:/Users/ppplll/Documents/R/win-library/3.3/WRScpp” || ( internal cd – .| (cd “C:/Users/ppplll/Documents/R/win-library/3.3/WRScpp” && internal -xf -))’ renvoie un statut 1
    ERROR: installing binary package failed
    * removing ‘C:/Users/ppplll/Documents/R/win-library/3.3/WRScpp’

    • Daniel Lakens says:

      I have the same error message as described above.

      • FelixS says:

        Interesting – works on my Mac. But this additional package is only needed to speed up computation for a few functions. Mostly (if not all) WRS function run without this package. So, no need to worry AFAIK.

  16. I work on Rallfunv32 of WRS package to get bmpmul function but warning message appear as :test[jcom,7]<-temp$sig.level
    Number of items to be replaced is not multiple of replacements
    Can any one help me with that error please

  17. Sarang Manjrekar says:

    Thanks, got me thru..

  18. Gerard says:

    thanks for the useful instructions and the package!

    Just in case someone encounters the same problem I’ve got when installing devtools on my computer (Windows 7, R 3.2.2):I could solve itt following:

    Basically it involved installing Rtools ( prior to devtools.

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