Jasp developing team
(The Institute of Statistical Mathematics)
YAMAMOTO Yoshikazu
(Tokushima Bunri University)
(Tokushima Bunri University)
(Tokyo University of Information Science)
HONDA Keisuke
(Open Technologies Corporation)

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Overview of Jasp
What is Jasp?
Jasp (JAva based Statistical Processor) is a statistical system whose aims are to utilize recent advanced computational environments.

We design Jasp language based on Pnuts, a script language written in and for Java language. Pnuts is a functional language without type declaration, and is easy to use for tentative and experimental work. We add tools for statistical analysis, and object oriented syntax mainly to bundle related functions.

Besides a Jasp language window, Jasp user interface also has a graphical user interface window to show the history of analysis and to operate the system by pop-up menus. These two windows are tightly connected and can be used alternatively.

Jasp is realized by client/server approach, and one client can execute calculations on more than one servers and can perform distributed computing.

Jasp is able to use programs written in foreign languages such as C, C++ and Fortran.

Why Jasp?
We have already many good statistical systems, for example, S (Chambers and Hastie, 1992), R and XploRe (Haerdle et al., 1999), to name a few. They have been used widely in many fields for a long time, are sufficiently reliable, and are also sophisticated by adopting new technologies such as GUI and Internet usage.

Many of them, however, acquired such modern facilities by adding new components on their original basic designs, which strongly reflect the technologies of the time when they were first designed. In other words, their new facilities are limited by their original designs.

Computer technologies have been developing explosively in these years both in hardware and software. Our aim is to make a statistical system which can use full abilities of these new technologies without limitation by designing completely newly, thinking much of them from the beginning.

Such an attempt was difficult for statistician before, because of the tremendous complexity of programming work. As a lot of good tools become available recently for GUI and network programming at cheap cost, statisticians can do advanced programming work themselves relatively easily by using them. Among such tools, Java is though to be one of the most promising system programming languages.

Java has many new characteristics such as object oriented programming, platform independency, good libraries for network abilities(TCP/IP), and GUI and graphics support. It has also advanced Internet functions (RMI, Remote Method Invocation) and an interface to other languages (JNI, Java Native Interface). Although the calculation speed is still slow compared with traditional compiler languages, its advanced features are very attractive. This is the reason why many recent statistical system projects, for example, Omegahat (Chambers et al. 2000), use it.

We hope to make a new statistical system in Java language, named Jasp (JAva based Statistical Processor). To realize functional abilities of Jasp language, we use a script language Pnuts (Tomatsu, 2000) as the base language. We add statistical tools and object oriented mechanism to Pnuts for Jasp language, which are suitable for complex statistical work.

As GUI is so popular in recent computational environments, GUI which is easy to use both for naive and professional users is strongly required for any statistical system. We propose a way to connect GUI and CUI tightly, to record the history of analysis on the GUI and to operate Jasp by pop-up menus.

We adopt the client/server approach in Jasp. This enables the quick operation from Web browsers and distributed computing on several servers. We note that similar approach was adopted in quantlet client/server technique of XploRe (Haerdle et al., 2000).

We use JNI in Jasp to import existing programs written in C, C++ and Fortran languages by slightly modifying them.
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