RATS Version 10.0

We’re pleased to announce that version 10 of RATS is now available. With a new major version number, we do a revision of the documentation to incorporate the changes made since version 9, and to improve the presentation of the information to answer commonly asked questions. The new versions have substantially more clickable links, both within the manuals themselves, and also to the help on the web site, which now includes detailed descriptions of most of the procedures. The main changes to the program with 10.0 vs 9.2 are shown below. (Changes that came in earlier are listed further down on the page). A list with all combined changes after 9.0 through 10.0 is provided in the help.

  • CALENDAR now allows for irregular input dates to handle daily data with skipped entries for holidays while maintaining the ability to use dates on input and output. The DATA instruction has a JULIAN option which pulls that information from a date column on the file, while several new functions will compute the required information from information coded in other ways (such as separate year, month and day fields on the file). In particular, GRAPH can now show dates on graphs with irregular dated data.
  • The Data (Other Formats) Wizard now includes handling for name overrides if the name on the file isn't permitted by RATS (for instance, name fields with blanks) or is long or cryptic. The Box-Jenkins (ARIMA), ARCH/GARCH(Univariate) and ARCH/GARCH(Multivariate) Wizards have all been converted to use tabs to reduce clutter.
  • GARCH allows DISTRIB=GED on multivariate models (not just univariate) and adds the DCC and QBAR options to control the secondary recursion for the DCC model.
  • ERRORS, IMPULSE and HISTORY, which require fully linear models for their calculations, will now accept models with simple FRML's if those are in a linear form (typically for identities which are often easier to write as FRML's).
  • HISTORY has new BASE and EFFECTS options which are an easier-to-use way to obtain the breakdown of the historical decomposition.

RATS Version 9.2

  • The process for re-defining graphics styles has been dramatically simplified.
  • Windows versions can export graphs in WMF format with dotted and dashed lines, and can now also export in PNG.
  • It generally runs about 5-40% faster that previous releases.
  • Two new optimization methods (Simulated Annealing and Genetic Annealing) have been added for non-linear estimation. These can be helpful in dealing with particularly difficult problems, as they do a very broad search of the parameter space.
  • Pseudo-code Generators has been added for two common loop types: Monte Carlo/Gibbs loops and Rolling Sample loops. These generate the framework for a loop.
  • The New Project Wizard can assist with starting a new project (program file)
  • Edit-Prettify indents DO and DOFOR loops to make a program more readable.
  • The GARCH instruction has several enhancements. You can now estimate MODEL's for embedded Error Correction Terms. The XBEKK option has been added to control GARCH-X handling in BEKK models. The DENSITY and PARMSET options allow you to override the standard likelihood density functions.
  • RTF (Rich Text Format) is now available as an export format for reports.
  • Error-correction models (VECM's) created using SYSTEM with ECT can be used much more flexibly.
  • Functions have been added for various "remapping" matrix operations, such as %DNN for the "duplication" matrix that takes a lower-triangular SYMMETRIC matrix to a full RECTANGULAR matrix

RATS Version 9.1

  • FRED is now included in all levels of the software, not just Pro, and there's now a separate browser for the wide range of other databases included on the FRED web site.
  • You can now download the entire OECD MEI database directly to your computer.
  • PDF is now available as an export format for graphics which can be used on the Save As... or Export... menu operations, or as a format in GSAVE.
  • Data can be read directly from web sites if the URL can produce a file image in a proper format.
  • DATA can read data in reversed-time order (most recent at the top or left) and rearrange it to run in the standard direction.
  • Stata .dta native formats for their versions 13 and 14 can now be read properly.

RATS Version 9.0

Version 9.0 was the end of a multi-year update cycle which has included the many additions that came with versions 8.1, 8.2 and 8.3.

Interface Improvements

  • The online help feature has been completely revised. It now has the full content of the Reference Manual, with some important extras: over 100 of the most important procedures with a full description of syntax and examples. It is also fully linked up with cross-references for ease of use.
  • The GARCH wizard has been split into separate wizards for univariate and multivariate models and we've added a new wizard for handling estimation of cointegration models, which provides easy-to-use access to the @JOHMLE, @FM and @SWDOLS procedures.
  • File-Properties shows the full file name of an open file (in a form where you can easily copy and paste). This can be handy when you have long paths so the name gets truncated.
  • Help-News... gets a "news feed" off our web site with links to updated information.
  • With version 8.3, we replaced the editor which actually runs most of the program with a new public domain editor called Scintilla. This adds the ability to put markers at locations in your program and includes "regular expressions" for more sophisticated searches. A few oddities in its operation (particularly skipping lines if you hold down the Enter key) have been corrected with version 9.
  • Another important change with v8.3 that’s even better with v9 is Find in Files. This allows you to search for a string (or "regular expression") across the full set of example programs so you can quickly locate example programs that use DLM or do a BEKK GARCH or an SPGRAPH,etc. It gives a huge boost to your productivity.

Programming Updates

  • The most important change to the program itself is that you can now pass functions as parameters and options.This was a big hole in the RATS programming language–we haven’t even begun to figure out all the things that will be made easier or (even) possible using this.
  • We introduced the HASH and LIST aggregators with version 8.2, but with version 9, we’ve added enough support to these to make them truly useful. These have been added to the documentation and examples of their use is now included.
  • The diagnostics for attempts to access out-of-range array elements have been improved, pointing you towards the likely source. You also now get better information about mistyped identifiers, as the program will list possible near-matches.

Changes to Instructions

  • You can now write data to XLSX and not just XLS. This applies to any instruction which writes data and to the export operations from REPORT windows.
  • SPGRAPH can now put keys out the outside of a matrix of graphs.
  • The GARCH instruction adds the new option VARIANCES=KOUTMOS to compute the univariate variances for CC and DCC models using the EGARCH formulation from Koutmos(1996) "Modeling the Dynamic Interdependence of Major European Stock Markets", Journal of Business Finance and Accounting, vol 23, 975-988. It also adds the STDRESIDS option for computing standardized residuals (univariate or jointly standardized multivariate).
  • IMPULSE has a new FLATTEN option for more easily saving into %%RESPONSES in Monte Carlo methods. Its FACTOR option can accept reduced numbers of columns (shocks), which makes it easier to handle situations where you are particularly interested in only a subset of the structural shocks.
  • HEIGHT and WIDTH have been added to GRPARM to allow standardized sizing of graphs.
  • GRAPH has a new SERIES option which can take a VECTOR of SERIES or a VECT[INTEGER] with series handles as input. This is particularly handy for doing graphics in Vector Autoregressions, where the number of graphs needed can change from application to application.
  • The DATA instruction adds the new option ORG=MULTILINE which allows you to pull data out of a spreadsheet file when a particular series occupies a block of rows.

See the October 2014 RATSletter for more details.

RATS Version 8.3

Version 8.3 adds several enhancements to 8.2, including:

  • a new editor environment, with improved undo/redo, "bracket matching" highlights, text position marking, search and replace using "regular expressions"
  • multi-threaded execution, with the editor interface handled by one thread and the statistical "engine" in another, for better performance and a more responsive interface.
  • a Find in Files menu operation which searches across our many example programs for particular text, allowing you to locate running programs that use a particular instruction or option.
  • many new and revised examples and procedures

See the October 2013 RATSletter for more details.

RATS Version 8.2

RATS 8.2 added some important new features, among them:

  • expanding graphing capabilities including the ability to specify an exact graph size, an easier way to graph arrays of series, and a new instruction for automatically saving graphs
  • new options on SUMMARIZE that make it easier to examine non-linear functions of estimated parameters, including non-linear estimation parameters, and to use numerical rather than analytical derivatives to deal with functions for which RATS has no analytical derivatives
  • a new option on FIND for doing grid searches, which is particularly useful for threshold models
  • support for some additional multivariate GARCH models, as well as more flexible handling of asymmetric effects
  • a new "Cointegration Tests" wizard
  • two new variable types for more flexible handling of vectors
  • dozens of new procedures and example programs

See the September 2012 RATSletter for more details.

RATS Version 8.1

Version 8.1 added several new panel data features, two useful new interface features, several new functions, and improvements to a dozen other instructions. It also ships with several new sets of textbook example programs, replication code for fifteen significant econometrics papers, and many new procedures.

See the September 2011 RATSletter for details on 8.1.

Version 8.0

RATS Version 8 was a major update featuring a new look, new manuals, improved data handling, more powerful tools for organizing results, and much more. Below are some of the highlights of this release. Please see the December 2010 RATSletter for more details, including a list of the many new procedures and examples that shipped with 8.0.

Revised Manuals

  • Completely revised manuals, including a new 180-page Introduction to RATS
  • Updated Reference Manual
  • Expanded User's Guide with more coverage of state space and DSGE models, switching models and structural breaks, Vector Autoregressions, and Simulations and Bootstrapping.
  • Much more extensive cross-referencing.

Interface Improvements

  • New View menu operations provide quick access to information on data series.
  • Redesigned and expanded toolbar icons
  • Many point-and-click Wizards have new features and are easier to use
  • More control over default arrangement of Input and Output windows.

Data Management

Making it as easy as possible to get data into the program was a major focus in developing RATS 8. Enhancements include:

  • Support for more data formats, including Stata®, EViews® and MATLAB® (support for Excel® 2007 was added with 7.3).
  • More flexibility for reading spreadsheet files.
  • Data Wizard: Can now read in subsets of data or compact/expand data to different frequency (previously required typing in instructions directly).
  • Can read series into memory from a RATS file by simply dragging-and-dropping them onto the Series Window
  • Can copy and paste data series data into Series Edit Windows (handy for copying data from web sites or PDF files)
  • READ and WRITE support many more formats, including XLS, XLSX, WKS, and MATLAB®.

Improved Reports

Another design goal was to extend the Reports features in RATS to make it even easier for you to translate your results quickly and accurately into publications or other applications.

  • Almost all output generated by RATS instructions, such as tables of regression coefficients, can now be reloaded in a report window via the Report Windows menu operation.
  • Reports can now be reformatted on screen (changing the displayed precision), and then exported or copy-and-pasted in a number of formats.
  • TeX Support: Reports can now be exported as a TeX tabular or copied to the clipboard in TeX format for pasting in a TeX editor. User-defined reports can be formatted to include TeX mathematical expressions.
  • Most procedures supplied with RATS now save output as "titled" reports, which can be easily recalled for viewing, exporting, or copying and pasting using the Report Windows operation.

Programming Features

  • You can define much more complex nested variable structures, such as "arrays of arrays of arrays" or "arrays of series of arrays".
  • The %IF function accepts a much wider variety of argument types.

Other New Features

  • More than thirty functions have been added since version 7.0.
  • New DUMMY instruction for generating standard dummy, trading day, and intervention variables.
  • VARIANCES=SPILLOVER option on GARCH for the univariate variance model in a CC or DCC model.
  • BACKGROUND option on GRPARM for setting the background color of a graph box
  • RGF option on SPGRAPH allows you to insert an existing graph file into a matrix of graphs.
  • Graph windows are now titled using either their header or footer (if available), making it easier to locate a particular window.

Using an Older Release?

If you are still using a release of RATS older than 8.0, see RATS Revisions for information on changes introduced earlier.