rank {base}R Documentation

Sample Ranks


Returns the sample ranks of the values in a vector. Ties (i.e., equal values) and missing values can be handled in several ways.


rank(x, na.last = TRUE,
     ties.method = c("average", "first", "random", "max", "min"))


x a numeric, complex, character or logical vector.
na.last for controlling the treatment of NAs. If TRUE, missing values in the data are put last; if FALSE, they are put first; if NA, they are removed; if "keep" they are kept with rank NA.
ties.method a character string specifying how ties are treated, see below; can be abbreviated.


If all components are different (and no NAs), the ranks are well defined, with values in seq_len(x). With some values equal (called ‘ties’), the argument ties.method determines the result at the corresponding indices. The "first" method results in a permutation with increasing values at each index set of ties. The "random" method puts these in random order whereas the default, "average", replaces them by their mean, and "max" and "min" replaces them by their maximum and minimum respectively, the latter being the typical “sports” ranking.

NA values are never considered to be equal: for na.last = TRUE and na.last = FALSE they are given distinct ranks in the order in which they occur in x.


Becker, R. A., Chambers, J. M. and Wilks, A. R. (1988) The New S Language. Wadsworth & Brooks/Cole.

See Also

order and sort.


(r1 <- rank(x1 <- c(3, 1, 4, 15, 92)))
x2 <- c(3, 1, 4, 1, 5, 9, 2, 6, 5, 3, 5)
names(x2) <- letters[1:11]
(r2 <- rank(x2)) # ties are averaged

## rank() is "idempotent": rank(rank(x)) == rank(x) :
stopifnot(rank(r1) == r1, rank(r2) == r2)

## ranks without averaging
rank(x2, ties.method= "first")  # first occurrence wins
rank(x2, ties.method= "random") # ties broken at random
rank(x2, ties.method= "random") # and again

## keep ties ties, no average
(rma <- rank(x2, ties.method= "max"))  # as used classically
(rmi <- rank(x2, ties.method= "min"))  # as in Sports
stopifnot(rma + rmi == round(r2 + r2))

[Package base version 2.5.0 Index]