Inaccurate regression coefficients in Microsoft Excel 2003: an investigation of Volpi’s “zero bug”
Abstract Leonardo Volpi found that Excel 2003, rather than report correct coefficients, would sometimes change them to zero. We have investigated this so-called “zero bug” of the linear regression function LINEST(), and have found that the inaccuracy is caused by a non-standard modified back-substitution procedure. The modification, for which we can find no justification in the numerical analysis or statistical literature, uses a logic to control the bug: when certain conditions are met, accurate coefficients are replaced with inaccurate coefficients that may be zeros or nonzeros. Although Excel 2003 is now out of support, it is still in use. We do not know whether the modification is limited to Excel 2003, or whether Microsoft has programmed similar inaccuracies into other functions or other versions of Excel.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 32 (2017)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.springer.com|
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.springer.com/statistics/journal/180/PS2|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- McCullough, B.D. & Heiser, David A., 2008. "On the accuracy of statistical procedures in Microsoft Excel 2007," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 52(10), pages 4570-4578, June.
- D. McCullough, B. & Wilson, Berry, 2002. "On the accuracy of statistical procedures in Microsoft Excel 2000 and Excel XP," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 713-721, October.
- McCullough, B.D., 2008. "Microsoft Excel's 'Not The Wichmann-Hill' random number generators," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 52(10), pages 4587-4593, June.
- Sawitzki, Gunther, 1994. "Report on the Numerical Reliability of Data Analysis Systems," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 289-301, September.
- McCullough, B.D. & Wilson, Berry, 2005. "On the accuracy of statistical procedures in Microsoft Excel 2003," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 1244-1252, June.
- Yalta, A. Talha, 2008. "The accuracy of statistical distributions in MicrosoftÂ®Â Excel 2007," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 52(10), pages 4579-4586, June.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spr:compst:v:32:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s00180-017-0764-9. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla)or (Rebekah McClure)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.