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portalcasting (development version)

Version numbers follow Semantic Versioning.

portalcasting 0.60.1


Minor doc edits

portalcasting 0.60.0


Automating editing of dockerhub description

portalcasting 0.59.0


Including curl in the Dockerfile

  • thought it was installed, but it isn’t in tidyverse, just verse

portalcasting 0.58.0


Editing documentation

  • Auto templates for issues and PRs

Including git2r in the package

  • Was removed accidentally from dockerfile causing breaks in main repo, seeing if it works to be in the package itself

portalcasting 0.57.0


Editing documentation

  • Tightening and improving language in Title and Description fields in DESCRIPTION file

Preventing duplicate keys in control lists at the top level

Adding docker images with setup done

  • including a production and a sandbox image

Testing docker images prior to pushing them

  • A simple “can you run library(portalcasting)” to start, can use this entry point to expand the testing suite on the image in the future

portalcasting 0.56.0


Tidying the app.R script

  • Facilitating the working across different calling styles.

portalcasting 0.55.0


Reorganizing the app pointing

  • Now having a single app.R file in the top level of the directory simplifies the issue around where the files are for the app
  • This replaces the global.R, ui.R, and server.R files

portalcasting 0.54.0


Adding sandbox and production version of update_ functions.

Adding Pat as an author

Pointing the dockerfile to the current build SHA

  • Previously, we were using default settings for remotes::install_github, which actually points to HEAD, when testing the build and push for the docker action. that was fine (although not great) when we were only running that action on tagged version releases, as the main branch was typically up-to-date with the tag and such, but this isn’t exact and it also means any testing of the build on a PR was actually still grabbing from main, which is not what we want.
  • We now use the SHA for the specific event that triggers the build by passing it into the docker file as an ARG

portalcasting 0.53.0


Removing temporary patch for backwards compatibility

portalcasting 0.52.0


Patching evaluations issues

  • The table was too big as was for github standard, so removing columns of repeated content that can be grabbed from metadata

portalcasting 0.51.1


Patches to pkgdown site

portalcasting 0.51.0


Major updates to pkgdown site

  • Shift to bootstrap 5

Include CI tests of examples and eval=FALSE vignettes

  • Because of the long run time of some of the code, we wrap most documentation examples and vignette code in a way to prevent evaluation in real-time. As a result, much of the documentation code isn’t run and therefore would not break builds if it would error.
  • To address this, we add two scripts in the new inst/extra_testing folder and a github action runner for each.

Added CITATION file

  • Cites the JOSS paper.

Bringing the app code into the package

  • Improves robustness of building the app (includes code and dependencies in the docker image, allows for unit testing app components, etc.)
  • Also allows users to spin-up a local version with run_web_app() pointed to main

Using arrow to speed up reading and writing files

Evaluation figures now read from evaluations file

  • Avoids computing evaluations while generating plots

Elimination of model-named functions

  • The models are now implemented using cast on their fit and cast elements in their control lists
  • Only models the need new functions have them (meta_tsglm and fit_runjags) for fitting
  • forecast method used generally now for cast function
    • introduction of forecast methods for tsglm and runjags objects

Shifting covariates to a daily-level build initial step

  • need to shift this to level daily so we can manage when a newmoon is split between historic and forecast days

Putting species under dataset in the models’ controls lists

  • This is more articulated and allows for finer control to help avoid fitting issues, etc.

Moving arguments into functionalities

  • cast_date is not an argument anymore, just filled automatically
  • dataset arguments are also being removed as possible to streamline (just pull from model controls)

Model functions are now species-level

  • To facilitate a lot of downstream functionality, we’re breaking up the model functions to operate on the species-level rather than the dataset-level, according to the new control lists
  • Species that were failing the nb GARCH models (s or not) have been removed, since that throws a warning and then fits a Poisson version, and we are now fitting Poisson versions of everyone.

process_model_output replaces save_cast_output and various model processing bits

  • provides a much more general way to produce a forecast that can be integrated in the system, leveraging the metadata files

casts metadata table includes new column

  • species
  • to facilitate backwards compatibility, filled with NA for previous tables if missing when loaded

updates to prefab models to 13 time steps forward (addressing issue 297)

  • pevGARCH, nbGARCH, nbsGARCH all get past_mean set to 13
  • all models set with lead_time of 13

new models

  • sAutoArima
  • sNaiveArima
  • pGARCH
  • psGARCH

new functions

  • update_dir is an “update-flavored” setup function


  • log and crps!

portalcasting 0.50.0


Update prefab_model_controls.yaml

  • including a nicer print_name for rendering the model texts

portalcasting 0.49.0


Added a clearing out step to fill_data

Updated download climate forecasts to check for version pre-updates

portalcasting 0.48.0


Settings updates to avoid redownloading archive

  • settings overwrite is now FALSE by default to manage the version match decision making
  • the directory resources portalpredictions version is updated to be the correct value ("latest"; was NULL)
  • the overwrite setting is temporarily removed from the file saving functions to prevent argument name confusion
  • we need to have an external location of file version to compare

Fixing jags model inits values

  • Model values were not facilitating good chain mixing, updated now

More transitions from moons to newmoons to align naming

portalcasting 0.47.0


Patching error in cast metadata output for jags models

  • Multiple models had the jags_logistic_covariates name being used in the metadata output when that was not correct.

portalcasting 0.46.0


Articulating dataset controls for species

  • Changing dataset controls list input from having all for species to listing the species.

portalcasting 0.45.0


Removing dm_controls as a separate dataset

  • Following the removal of the interp datasets
  • Now model controls indicate species to which their applied

New models

  • jags_logistic_competition
  • jags_logistic_covariates
  • jags_logistic_competition_covariates

portalcasting 0.44.0


Major updates to JAGS models

  • Modeling and tracking sigma not tau (sd, not precision)
  • No max caps for density or counts (aka removing guardrails)
  • No use of + 0.1 - 0.1 for logging, managing it differently
  • Chain increase from 2 to 4, silent jags is now FALSE
  • Removal of jags_SS wrapper, which limited adaptation of the model

Removing JAGS model vignette

  • Removal of the jags_SS wrapper eliminates the core of that vignette

Adding integrated warm precip and ndvi covariates

  • Allows covariates logistic model

Shift internal naming of subs to subdirectories

Shift folder naming of raw, casts to resources, forecasts

portalcasting 0.43.0


Trim text in model vignette

  • Vignette now pulls text from the the model list, and loops the model list, rather than have the raw text in the markdown doc.
  • This locates the description in a place that is accessible to other content generation (e.g., the portal forecast website)

portalcasting 0.42.0


Data interpolation moved from “dataset” to “within model”

  • Patching, not all hit with previous release

portalcasting 0.41.0


Data interpolation moved from “dataset” to “within model”

  • Previously, datasets included, for example all and all_interp. Now, only all exists and models interpolate as needed.

portalcasting 0.40.0


Argument / nomenclature updates

  • dfl arg to x

read_rodents default settings update

  • Now pulls all datasets using prefab_datasets

Subdirectory internal naming changed to remove spaces

  • model fits now back to fits and model scripts back to models

forecast_evaluations file now saved

  • Flattened version of the generated list of evaluations
  • Rather crude options of saving or not and overwriting the whole file or not based on settings
  • No file saving occurs when a single cast is evaluated

portalcasting 0.39.0


download_timeout now set to default of 600 for setup_production

  • Allows download of larger directory archive without timeout

portalcasting 0.38.0


If there’s only one model, don’t ensemble

  • Prevents warnings / errors

portalcasting 0.37.0


Building out evaluation pipeline

  • starting with what is already occurring, but formalizing as such as part of an evaluate_casts and evaluate_cast pair of functions
  • evaluate_casts function now works automatically to evaluate all the casts using evaluate_cast, generating the error table as it does when being used, but nothing is saved out or updated.
  • there is also no filter on evaluated casts by default, so the output from the forecasts without observations to evaluate is a table with a single row with NaN, and then they get wrapped up into the list.
    • no errors, just noteworthy

portalcasting 0.36.0



  • Now includes type argument with abbreviation, Latin, and table options
  • No more most_abundant_species function, as we’re not using it on the website.

portalcasting 0.35.0


Updating model controls

  • time
  • response with type and link

Developing evaluate functions

  • evaluate_casts and evaluate_cast currently just placeholders

portalcasting 0.34.0


Removing tmp sub

  • No longer used, internal R code (e.g., tempdir) provides needed functionality
  • Also removing clear_tmp

portalcasting 0.33.0


setup_production defaults to verbose = TRUE

  • Facilitates fuller log

portalcasting 0.32.0


Relocation of prefab controls

  • Moved from source code scripts to .yaml files in inst/extdata
  • read_ and write_ functions for both rodent and model controls lists

Updating / rectifying terminology

  • “data_set” -> “dataset”

portalcasting 0.31.0


Tidying up documentation

portalcasting 0.30.0


Settings list

  • setup_dir now takes a settings argument that is a list of the arguments
  • directory_settings function now quickly and cleanly collapses the settings that go into setup_dir

Generalized functionality for models and rodent data sets

  • Control lists are now structured for use with

Codebase formatting [work in progress]

  • No longer concerned about the 80 char line limit
  • Long argument lists, etc. are now formatted for quick top-to-bottom reading, via alignment on the ( and =

Removal of superfluous _path functions

  • Use of base R functions is sufficient

arg_checks removed

  • Internalized auto-checking relieves user of need to dictate checking

Temporary removal of “adding a model and data” vignette

  • Need to update with new API
  • Also need to add alt-text to all images

portalcasting 0.29.0


Patch bline bug

  • Argument needed to be removed still

portalcasting 0.28.0



  • Function redesigned to align with message directly argument for argument with the addition of the quiet argument.
  • Now allows for multiple message arguments via ... that become pasted together

Removal of specialized message functions

  • Minimize unnecessary functions

portalcasting 0.27.0


Simplified directory creation function pipeline

  • Now just create_dir

portalcasting 0.26.0


jags_logistic model added

  • invoked as jags_logistic like jags_RW, applied to DM controls dataset.
  • Building upon the jags_RW model, jags_logistic expands upon the “process model” underlying the Poisson observations.
  • There are four process parameters: mu (the density of the species at the beginning of the time series) and tau (the precision (inverse variance) of the random walk, which is Gaussian on the log scale) for the starting value and r (growth rate) and K (carrying capacity) of the dynamic population. The observation model has no additional parameters.

portalcasting 0.25.4


Docker build check issues

portalcasting 0.25.3


Further removal of vestigial rEDM code

  • Commenting out as needed to prevent build breaks

portalcasting 0.25.2


Updating title to match JOSS

portalcasting 0.25.1


Getting latest version of portalr

  • tagging to update Docker image with portalr 0.3.9

portalcasting 0.25.0


Tidying for JOSS ms

  • adding source and version args to check args
  • software context added to ms
  • overview added to readme
  • updating the getting started vignette to use production to allow for historical uses

portalcasting 0.24.0


Speeding downloading

  • Shift to default downloading archive from GitHub
  • setup_dir does not download archive by default, but setup_production does
  • download function being broken out into components – work is still ongoing, but now have a separate function for each of the portaldata portalpredictions and climate forecasts
  • addresses #132 #199

portalcasting 0.23.0


patching issue with ndvi preparation

  • the ndvi data stream is not filling in with new content, resulting in NAs for the latter half of 2021
  • using a forecast call to fill in the missing values as a temporary patch

portalcasting 0.22.0


Removal of simplexEDM and GPEDM

  • Previous versions used Hao’s fork of the rEDM packages, which has been deprecated and now breaks because of the updates in Rcpp
  • Switching to CRAN version
  • Updating rEDM to CRAN does not fix the issue, so these models cannot be used in prefab set
  • Removed from the prefab control list and removed the documentation
  • No longer exported from the NAMESPACE

Edit tests for ensembling and figure making

  • A few edge case issues arose in test because of fixed moons
  • Should be resolved through edits to test scripts without altering functions

portalcasting 0.21.4


Add Henry to the DESCRIPTION file

portalcasting 0.21.3


Add git2r to the docker container

portalcasting 0.21.2


Improving GitHub Actions Running

  • Including no running of examples (needed to be explicitly stated); addressing 206
  • Use RStudio package manager to speed up running; addressing 206

portalcasting 0.21.1


Patch “NA” plotting issue

portalcasting 0.21.0


Highlighting of species in plotting

Shift to GitHub actions

portalcasting 0.20.0


Stops saving model fits in the portalPredictions repository

Addresses issues with covariate data

  • Missing data from weather stations caused issues
  • Now if there is a missing set of data for a month of covariates, the saved covariate forecasts are used

Added dm_controls and dm_controls_interp to prefab data sets

  • For use in the basic single-species process models
  • Note lowercase name! Using capitals in the actual name of the data set creation will cause problems because tolower gets used elsewhere!

Patches issue with check_args when using portalcasting::function_name()

Tightens testing time

portalcasting 0.19.0


Patch moons

  • Addressing issues with updated dplyr

portalcasting 0.18.3


Testing the Dockerfile

portalcasting 0.18.2


Setting the Docker build up with its own folder

Tidying README etc

portalcasting 0.18.1


Testing the Dockerfile

portalcasting 0.18.0


Bringing the Dockerfile over from portalPredictions

  • For building here

portalcasting 0.17.1


Addition of GPEDM (model and function)

  • Gaussian processes using Empirical Dynamic Modeling
  • Actually does this (0.17.0 had a snag)

portalcasting 0.17.0


Addition of GPEDM (model and function)

  • Gaussian processes using Empirical Dynamic Modeling

portalcasting 0.16.0


Change in format for saving out model_fits and model_casts

  • Saving model_fits and model_casts out as serialized .json files now instead of .rData files
  • More reliable and generalized.
  • Also added functions for reading them in (read_model_casts and read_model_fits).
  • addresses

portalcasting 0.15.2


Using github version of portalr

  • Due to backwards incompatible changes in portalr and it not being on CRAN yet

portalcasting 0.15.1


Trivial updating

  • To address a Zenodo hiccup

portalcasting 0.15.0


JAGS vignette

  • Added a vignette that describes how to use the JAGS/runjags API within portalcasting.
  • addresses

Pulls code for into the package

  • Use of it from DesignLibrary causes a problematic dependency chain with the docker image building

Patch bug in most_abundant_species

  • Wasn’t using the species name function, and so was pulling in the traps column, which was causing a break in plotting.

portalcasting 0.14.0


Adds exclosure data to the prefab models

portalcasting 0.13.0


Full writing of control_files in model scripts

  • Previously, the controls list for the files in the model scripts was taken from the environment in which the script was run, which opens the script to everything, which is undesirable.
  • After the need to include a control list for runjags models forced an explicit writing of the list inputs, the code was available to transfer to the files control list.
  • This does mean that the function calls in the scripts are now super long and explicit, but that’s ok.
  • To avoid super long model script lines (where event default inputs are repeated in the list functions), a function control_list_arg was made to generalize what was coded up from the runjags list for use also with the files control list. This function writes a script component that only includes arguments to the list function that are different from the formal definition.

portalcasting 0.12.1


Fixes to the pkgdown site

  • rmarkdown v1.16.0 has some issues with rendering images, so forcing use of v1.16.1 for now.
  • Inclusion of new functions in reference list.

portalcasting 0.12.0


portalcast updates model scripts according to controls_model

  • Previously, if you changed any controls of a prefab model, you had to manually re-write the models using fill_models before running portalcast.
  • Using fill_models would result in hand-made scripts being overwritten, so a specific function (update_models) for updating the models was created.
  • update_models by default only updates the models listed in the controls_model input, to avoid overwriting model scripts. To change this behavior and also update all of the prefab models’ scripts, set update_prefab_models = TRUE. This is particularly handy when changing a global (with respect to model scripts) argument: main, quiet, verbose, or arg_checks.
  • addresses

Messaging around trying to use not-complete directory improved

  • Indication now made that a component of the directory is missing and suggestion is made to run create_dir.
  • addresses

Patching data set bug in plotting

  • There was a bug with matching the interpolated to the non interpolated data sets within the ensembling, which has been fixed.
  • addresses

Updated messaging

  • Moved most of the messaging into tidied functions.

Changed behavior of prep_rodents_table and prep_rodents

  • Now there is no start_moon argument, and all of the data prior to end_moon are returned.
  • This aligns the rodents prep functions with the other (moons, covariates) prep functions.
  • Facilitates use of data prior to start_moon in forecasting models (e.g., for distributions of starting state variables).
  • Requires that model functions now explicitly trim the rodents table being used. This has been added to all prefab models.

Fixed codecov targets

  • Previous targets were restrictively high due to earlier near-perfect coverage.
  • A codecov.yml file is now included in the repo (and ignored for the R build) which sets the target arbitrarily at the still-quite-high-but-not-restrictively-so 95%.
  • It can be changed if needed in the future.

Simple EDM model added

JAGS infrastructure added

  • Using the runjags package, with extensive access to the API of run.jags via a control_runjags list (see runjags_control).
  • Currently in place with a very simple random walk model.
  • addresses

Prepared rodents table includes more content

  • Expanded back in time to the start.
  • Added effort columns (all default options in prefab_rodents_controls have effort = TRUE).

Updated adding a model and data vignette

  • Added section at the end about just extending existing models to new data sets.
  • addresses

portalcasting 0.11.0


Ensembling reintroduced

  • Associated with the reconfiguration of portalcasting from v0.8.1 to 0.9.0, ensembling was removed temporarily.
  • A basic ensemble is reintroduced, now as an unweighted average across all selected models, allowing us to have an ensemble but not have it be tied to AIC weighting (because AIC weighting is no longer possible with the split between interpolated and non-interpolated data for model fitting).
  • In a major departure from v0.8.1 and earlier, the ensemble’s output is not saved like the actual models’. Rather, it is only calculated when needed on the fly.
  • In plotting, it is now the default to use the ensemble for plot_cast_ts and plot_cast_point and for the ensemble to be included in plot_casts_err_lead and plot_casts_cov_RMSE.

Return of most_abundant_species

  • Function used to select the most common species.
  • Now uses the actual data and not the casts to determine the species.

portalcasting 0.10.0


Model evaluation and ensembling added back in

  • Were removed with the updated version from 0.8.1 to 0.9.0 to allow time to develop the code with the new infrastructure.
  • Model evaluation happens within the cast tab output as before.

Temporarily removed figures returned

  • Associated with the evaluation.
  • Plotting of error as a function of lead time for multiple species and multiple models. Now has a fall-back arrangement that works for a single species-model combination.
  • Plotting RMSE and coverage within species-model combinations.

Flexing model controls to allow user-defined lists for prefab models

  • For sandboxing with existing models, it is useful to be able to change a parameter in the model’s controls, such as the data sets. Previously, that would require a lot of hacking around. Now, it’s as simple as inputting the desired controls and flipping arg_checks = FALSE.

portalcasting 0.9.0


Major API update: increase in explicit top-level arguments

  • Moved key arguments to focal top-level inputs, rather than nested within control options list. Allows full control, but with default settings working cleanly. addresses
  • Restructuring of the controls lists, retained usage in situations where necessary: model construction, data set construction, file naming, climate data downloading.
  • Openness for new setup functions, in particular setup_sandbox. addresses
  • Simplification of model naming inputs. Just put the names in you need, only use the model_names functions when you need to (usually in coding inside of functions or for setting default argument levels). addresses

Directory tree structure simplified

  • dirtree was removed
  • base (both as a function and a concept) was removed. To make that structure use main = "./name".
  • “PortalData” has been removed as a sub and replaced with “raw”, which includes all raw versions of files (post unzipping) downloaded: Portal Data and Portal Predictions and covariate forecasts (whose saving is also new here).

Tightened messaging

  • Expanded use of quiet and verbose connected throughout the pipeline.
  • Additional messaging functions to reduce code clutter.
  • Formatting of messages to reduce clutter and highlight the outline structure.

Download capacity generalized

  • Flexible interface to downloading capacity through a url, with generalized and flexible functions for generating Zenodo API urls (for retrieving the raw data and historical predictions) and NMME API urls (for retrieving weather forecasts) to port into the download function. addresses and addresses and addresses

Changes for users adding their own models to the prefab set

  • Substantial reduction in effort for users who wish to add models (i.e. anyone who is sandboxing). You can even just plunk your own R script (which could be a single line calling out to an external program if desired) without having to add any model script writing controls, and just add the name of the model to the models argument in portalcast and it will run it with everything else.
  • Outlined in the updated Getting Started and Adding a Model/Data vignettes.
  • Users adding models to the prefab suite should now permanently add their model’s control options to the source code in model_script_controls rather than write their own control functions.
  • Users adding models to the prefab suite should permanently add their model’s function code to the prefab_models script (reusing and adding to the documentation in prefab_model_functions), rather than to its own script.
  • Users should still add their model’s name to the source code in model_names.

Relaxed model requirements

  • Models are no longer forced to use interpolated data.
  • Models are no longer required to output a rigidly formatted data-table. Presently, the requirement is just a list, but soon some specifications will be added to improve reliability.
  • Outlined in the updated Adding a Model/Data vignette.

More organization via metadata

  • Generalized cast output is now tracked using a unique id in the file name associated with the cast, which is related to a row in a metadata table, newly included here. addresses and addresses and addresses
  • Additional control information (like data set setup) is sent to the model metadata and saved out.
  • Directory setting up configuration information is now tracked in a dir_config.yaml file, which is pulled from to save information about what was used to create, setup, and run the particular casts.

Changes for users interested in analyzing their own data sets not in the standard data set configuration

  • Users are now able to define rodent observation data sets that are not part of the standard data set (“all” and “controls”, each also with interpolation of missing data) by giving the name in the data_sets argument and the controls defining the data set (used by portalr’s summarize_rodent_data function) in the controls_rodents argument.
  • In order to actualize this, a user will need to flip off the argument checking (the default in a sandbox setting, if using a standard or production setting, set arg_checks = FALSE in the relevant function).
  • Users interested in permanently adding the treatment level to the available data sets should add the source code to the rodents_controls function, just like with the models.
  • addresses
  • Internal code points the pipeline to the files named via the data set inputs. The other data files are pointed to using the control_files (see file_controls) input list, which allows for some general flexibility with respect to what files the pipeline is reading in from the data subdirectory.

Split of standard data sets

  • The prefab all and controls were both default being interpolated for all models because of the use of AIC for model comparison and ensemble building. That forced all models to use interpolated data.
  • Starting in this version, the models are not required to have been fit in the same fashion (due to generalization of comparison and post-processing code), and so interpolation is not required if not needed, and we have split out the data to standard and interpolated versions.

Application of specific models to specific data sets now facilitated

  • write_model and model_template have a data_sets argument that is used to write the code out, replacing the hard code requirement of analyzing “all” and “controls” for every model. Now, users who wish to analyze a particular data component can easily add it to the analysis pipeline.

Generalization of code terms

  • Throughout the codebase, terminology has been generalized from “fcast”/“forecast”/“hindcast” to “cast” except where a clear distinction is needed (here primarily due to where the covariate values used come from).
  • Nice benefits: highlights commonality between the two (see next section) and reduces code volume.
  • start_newmoon is now start_moon like end_moon
  • addresses

“Hindcasting” becomes more similar to “forecasting”

  • In the codebase now, “hindcasting” is functionally “forecasting” with a forecast origin (end_moon) that is not the most recently occurring moon.
  • Indeed, “hindcast” is nearly entirely removed from the codebase and “forecast” is nearly exclusively retained in documentation (and barely in the code itself), with both functionally being replaced with the generalized (and shorter) “cast”.
  • cast_type is retained in the metadata file for posterity, but functionality is more generally checked by considering end_moon and last_moon in combination, where end_moon is the forecast origin and last_moon is the most recent
  • Rather than the complex machinery used to iterate through multiple forecasts (“hindcasting”) that involved working backwards and skipping certain moons (which didn’t need to be skipped anymore due to updated code from a while back that allows us to forecast fine even without the most recent samples yet), a simple for loop is able to manage iterating. This is also facilitated by the downloading of the raw portalPredictions repository from Zenodo and critically its retention in the “raw” subdirectory, which allows quick re-calculation of historic predictions of covariates. addresses
  • cast_type has been removed as an input, it’s auto determined now based on end_moon and the last moon available (if they’re equal it’s a “forecast”, if not it’s a “hindcast”).

Softer handling of model failure

  • Within cast, the model scripts are now sourced within a for-loop (rather than sapply) to allow for simple error catching of each script. addresses

Improved argument checking flow

  • Arg checking is now considerably tighter, code-wise.
  • Each argument is either recognized and given a set of attributes (from an internally defined list) or unrecognized and stated to the user that it’s not being checked (to help notify anyone building in the code that there’s a new argument).
  • The argument’s attributes define the logical checking flow through a series of pretty simple options.
  • There is also now a arg_checks logical argument that goes into check_args to turn off all of the underlying code, enabling the user to go off the production restrictions that would otherwise through errors, even though they might technically work under the hood.

Substantial re-writes of the vignettes

  • Done in general to update with the present version of the codebase.
  • Broke the adding a model or data vignette into “working locally” and “adding to the pipeline”, also added checklists and screen shots. addresses
  • Reorganized the getting started vignette to an order that makes sense. addresses

Additional things

  • drop_spp is now changed to species (so focus on inclusion, not exclusion). addresses
  • Improved examples, also now as \donttest{}. addresses
  • Tightened testing with skip_on_cran used judiciously. addresses
  • No longer building the AIC-based ensemble. addresses
  • Default confidence limit is now the more standard 0.95.

portalcasting 0.8.1


Hookup with Zenodo

Inclusion of json file and some minor editing of documentation, but no functional coding changes

portalcasting 0.8.0


plot_cov_RMSE_mod_spp now only plots the most recent -cast by default

  • If cast_dates = NULL (the default), the plot only uses the most recent -cast to avoid swamping more current -casts with historic -casts.

Added specific checks for no casts returned in plot functions

  • There’s a bit of leeway with respect to argument validity, in particular around model names (to facilitate users making new models with new names, we don’t want to hardwire a naming scheme in check_arg), so now there are checks to see if the tables returned from select_casts have any rows or not.

Handling the edge cases in model function testing

  • The trimming of the data sets for model function testing (happens in the AutoArima test script) now includes addition of some dummy values for edge cases (all 0 observations and nearly-all-0 observations), which allows better coverage of testing for the -GARCH model functions in particular.

Fixing a typo bug within pevGARCH

  • There was a mismatch between fcast and forecast for one of the edge cases.

portalcasting 0.7.0


Addressing nbGARCH and nbsGARCH when even the Poisson fallback fails

  • In nbGARCH and then extended into nbsGARCH, the models fall back to a Poisson distribution if the negative binomial fit fails. Previously (with only nbGARCH) the Poisson fit always succeeded in those back-ups, but now (with nbsGARCH) that sometimes isn’t the case (because the predictor model is more complex) and even the Poisson fit can fail. So now for both models, if that fit fails, we follow what occurs in pevGARCH which is to use the fcast0 forecast of 0s and an arbitrarily high AIC (1e6).

portalcasting 0.6.0


Addressing covariate forecasts in pevGARCH under hindcasting

  • pevGARCH() was not set up to leverage the covariate_forecasts file.
  • It’s now set up with a toggle based on the cast_type in the metadata list (which has replaced the formerly named filename_suffix element) to load the covariate_forecasts file (using a new read_covariate_forecasts function) and then select the specific hindcast based on the source and date_made columns as selected by new elements in the metadata list (covariate_source and covariate_date_made).

portalcasting 0.5.0


Adding nbsGARCH

  • Model nbsGARCH has been added to the base set of models.

foy function

  • foy() calculates the fraction of the year for a given date or set of dates.

portalcasting 0.4.1


Move to usage of CRAN portalr

model_scripts function

  • Provides a simple way to list the scripts in the models subdirectory.

Including the package version message in setup_dir and portalcast

  • Including a simple message to report the version of portalcasting loaded in top level functions.

Vignette updates

  • Adding plot (from pre-constructed images) to the how-to vignette.

Patching a bug in model_template

  • There was a lingering old name from the argument switch over that was causing model templates to be written with a "" argument for the model model name input into save_forecast_output.

portalcasting 0.4.0


Tidied functionality for checking function arguments

  • Introduction of check_args and check_arg which collaborate to check the validity of function arguments using a standardized set of requirements based on the argument names, thereby helping to unify and standardize the use of the codebase’s arguments.

Updated function names

  • prep_rodents is now prep_rodents_list
  • rodents_data is now prep_rodents
  • update_rodents is now update_rodents_list
  • read_data has been split out into read_all, read_controls, read_covariates, read_moons, and read_metadata
  • model_path is now model_paths
  • sub_path and sub_paths have been merged into sub_paths, which returns all if specific_subs is NULL
  • lag_data is now lag_covariates

Updated argument (names to leverage check_args, etc.)

  • In multiple functions data has been replaced with rodents to be specific.
  • CI_level is now subsumed by confidence_level
  • name is now subsumed by model
  • set is not split into species_set and model_set
  • The order of arguments in model_names is now back to model_set, add.
  • The default subs_type for subdirs is now "portalcasting".
  • The four model functions have a reduced set of inputs to leverage the directory tree, and the script generation is updated to match.
  • Updating the cast argument to cast_to_check in cast_is_valid and removing the verbose argument from verify_cast to allow check_arg to leverage check_arg for verify_cast.

Removal of classes

  • The models class has been removed.
  • The subdirs class has been removed.

messageq function

  • messageq function is added to tidy code around messages being printed based on the quiet arguments.

Inclusion of "wEnsemble" as an option in model_names

  • Produces the prefab list with an "Ensemble" entry added, to allow for that simply without using the NULL options, which collects all model names.
  • This facilitated addition of models as an argument in the evaluations plots.

portalcasting 0.3.1


Bug fix in plot_cast_ts()

  • plot_cast_ts did not cleanly plot time series where observations had been made after the start of the prediction window.
  • The function has been set up to now split observations that occurred during the prediction window out, execute the plot as if they didn’t exist, then add them on top.
  • Functionality has now been added to allow the toggling on and off of those points via the add_obs input (defaults to TRUE).

portalcasting 0.3.0


Completed migration of plotting code

  • plot_cast is now plot_cast_ts and is now fully vetted and tested
  • plotcastts_ylab and plotcastts_xaxis provide tidied functions for producing the y label and x axis (respectively) for plot_cast_ts.
  • plot_cast_point is now added to replace plot_species_forecast.
  • plotcastpoint_yaxis provides tidied functionality for the y axis of plot_cast_point.
  • select_most_ab_spp allows for a simple selection of the most abundant species from a -cast.
  • plot_err_lead_spp_mods and plot_cov_RMSE_mod_spp now added to replace the raw code in the evaluation page.

Processing of forecasts

  • read_casts (old) is now read_cast and specifically works for only one -cast.
  • read_casts (new) reads in multiple -casts.
  • select_cast is now select_casts and allows a more flexible selection by default.
  • make_ensemble now returns a set of predictions with non-NA bounds when only one model is included (it returns that model as the ensemble).
  • most_recent_cast returns the date of the most recent -cast. Can be dependent on the presence of a census.
  • verify_cast and cast_is_valid replace forecast_is_valid from the repo codebase. verify_cast is a logical wrapper on cast_is_valid that facilitates a pipeline integration. cast_is_valid does the major set of checks of the cast data frame.
  • append_observed_to_cast is provided to add the observed data to the forecasts and add columns for the raw error, in-forecast-window, and lead time as well.
  • measure_cast_error allows for summarization of errors at the -cast level.

Processing of data

  • most_recent_census returns the date of the most recent census.

Minor changes

  • Argument order in models is reversed (add then set) and defaults in general are now NULL and NULL, but set = "prefab" within the options functions, to make it easy to run a novel model set.
  • Argument order in subdirs is reversed (subs then type) and defaults in general are now NULL and NULL, but type = "portalcasting" within options functions and dirtree to make it easier to manage a single subdirectory.
  • fdate argument has been replaced throughout with cast_date for generality.


  • na_conformer provides tidy functionality for converting non-character NA entries (can get read in from the data due to the "NA" species) to "NA". Works for both vectors and data frames.

portalcasting 0.2.2


Beginning to migrate plotting code

  • plot_cast is developed but not yet fully vetted and tested, nor integrated in the main repository. It will replace forecast_viz as a main plotting function.

Added "moons" to read_data

  • read_data’s options have been expanded to include "moons".
  • Not fully implemented everywhere, but now available.

Bug fix in interpolate_data

  • interpolate_data was using rodent_spp in a way that assumed the "NA" species was coded as "NA.", which it wasn’t.
  • Expansion of rodent_spp to include an nadot logical argument, with default value of FALSE.

portalcasting 0.2.1


Bug fix in read_data

  • read_data was reading the All rodents file for Controls as well, which caused the forecasts for the Controls to be duplicated of the All forecasts.
  • Simple correction here.

portalcasting 0.2.0


Code testing

  • All of the code is now tested via testthat.
  • Test coverage is tracked via Codecov.
  • The only functionality not covered in testing on Codecov is associated with download_predictions(), which intermittently hangs on Travis. Testing is available, but requires manual toggling of the test_location value to "local" in the relevant test scripts (02-directory and 12-prepare_predictions).

Enforcement of inputs

  • Most of the functions previously did not have any checks on input argument classes, sizes, etc.
  • Now all functions specifically check each argument’s value for validity and throw specific errors.


  • All of the functions have fleshed out documentation that specify argument requirements, link to each other and externally, and include more information.

Data classes

  • To smooth checking of different data structures, we now define data objects with classes in addition to their existing (data.frame or list) definitions.
  • rodents, rodents_list, covariates, metadata, moons
  • These classes do not presently have any specified methods or functions.

Options list classes

  • To smooth checking of different list structures, we now define the options list objects with classes in addition to their existing list definitions.
  • all_options, dir_options, PortalData_options, data_options, moons_options, rodents_options, covariates_options, metadata_options, predictions_options, models_options, and cast_options
  • Each of these classes is created by a function of that name.
  • These classes do not presently have any specified methods or functions that operate on them.

Added functions

  • classy() allows for easy application of classes to objects in a %>% pipeline
  • read_data() provides simple interface for loading and applying classes to model-ready data files.
  • remove_incompletes() removes any incomplete entries in a table, as defined by an NA in a specific column.
  • check_options_args() provides a tidy way to check the input arguments (wrt class, length, numeric limitations, etc.) to the options functions.


Retention of all forecasts of covariates

  • Previous versions retained only one covariate forecast per newmoon.
  • We now enable retention of multiple covariate forecasts per newmoon and tag the forecast date with a time stamp as well.


  • Added a website driven by pkgdown.


  • Developed this changelog as part of the package.

Support documents

portalcasting 0.1.1


Addressing Portal Data download

  • Setting default back to the Zenodo link via updated portalr function.
  • Updated fill_PortalData() and new PortalData_options() allow for control over download source.

portalcasting 0.1.0

true code edits 2018-12-14, version number updated 2019-01-02

Migration from Portal Predictions repository

  • Code was brought over from the forecasting repository to be housed in its own package.
  • Multiple updates to the codebase were included, but intentionally just “under the hood”, meaning little or no change to the output and simplification of the input.
  • A major motivation here was also to facilitate model development, which requires being able to set up a local version of the repository to play with in what we might consider a “sandbox”. This will allow someone to develop and test new forecasting models in a space that isn’t the forecasting repo itself (or a clone or a fork), but a truly novel location. At this point, the sandbox setup isn’t fully robust from within this package, but rather requires some additional steps (to be documented).

Development of code pipeline

  • The previous implementation of the R codebase driving the forecasting (housed within the portalPredictions repo) was a mix of functions and loose code and hard-coded to the repo.
  • The package implementation generalizes the functionality and organizes the code into a set of hierarchical functions that drive creation and use of the code within the repo or elsewhere.
  • See the codebase vignette for further details.

Explicit directory tree

  • To facilitate portability of the package (a necessity for smooth sandboxing and the development of new models), we now include explicit, controllable definition of the forecasting directory tree.
  • See the codebase vignette for further details.

Introduction of options lists

  • To facilitate simple control via defaults argument inputs and flexibility to changes to inputs throughout the code hierarchy, we include a set of functions that default options for all aspects of the codebase.
  • See the codebase vignette for further details.



  • This is the last iteration of the code that now exists in portalcasting in its previous home within the portalPredictions repo.
  • It was not referred to by the name portalcasting at the time.