Graphical models in their modern form have been around since the late 1970s and
appear today in many areas of the sciences. Along with the ongoing developments
of graphical models, a number of different graphical modelling software programs
have been written over the years. In recent years many of these software developments
have taken place within the R community, either in the form of providing an
R interface to existing software or in the form of new R packages. At the time of
writing, the taskview for graphical models in R at http://cran.r-project.org/web/views/gR.html
lists some thirty packages related to graphical models. It is expected that this number
will grow considerably, and the packages will be extended and modified.
This book attempts to give the reader a gentle introduction to graphical modelling
using R and the main features of some of these packages, hopefully sharpening
the appetite for using and developing these packages further. In addition, we shall
give a few examples of how more advanced aspects of graphical modelling can be
represented and handled within R.
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