# DoW-Loop: A Quick Note from SESUG 2012

###### —Paul Dorfman, A Bit of DoW-History

It’s great to have Paul Dorfman’s demo of DoW-loop (with a poem! Thanks to Paul to send me a copy.) in this SESUG 2012 conference. First posted in SAS-L by Whitlock, promoted by Dorfman,  DoW-loop is widely known as “Whitlock Do Loop” or ” Dorfman-Whitlock Do Loop”. In Dorfman’s presentation, the following three forms of DoW-loop were constructed:

• Henderson-Whitlock Original Form of DoW-loop
• Dorfman’s Short Form of DoW-loop
• Double DoW-loop: the DeVenezia-Schreier Form

Using a test data set

data a;
input id \$ var;
datalines;
A 1
A 2
B 3
B 4
B 5
;

the Henderson-Whitlock Original Form of DoW-loop looks like:

data b;
count= 0;
sum = 0 ;

do until ( last.id ) ;
set a ;
by id ;

count+1;
sum+var;
end ;

mean = sum / count ;
run ;

Ian Whitlock first used such kind of do loop in a SAS-L post and after its rising, Paul Dorfman, the main promoter of DoW-loop, found that Don Henderson also made use such DO UNTIL() structure in a NESUG 1988 paper, The SAS Supervisor. That’s why he named it as Henderson-Whitlock form of DoW-loop. I then read from a DoW-loop page in sascommunity.org that Don Henderson taught such concept in class where Ian Whitlock was a student. This is a nice story.

Paul Dorfman himself also contributed a short form:

data c ;
do n = 1 by 1 until ( last.id ) ;
set a ;
by id ;

count = sum (count, 1) ;
sum = sum (sum, var) ;
end ;

mean = sum / count ;
run ;

or even shorter:

data c ;
do n = 1 by 1 until ( last.id ) ;
set a ;
by id ;

sum = sum (sum, var) ;
end ;

mean = sum / n ;
run ;

These kinds of form of DoW-loop utilizes the SUM function, automatic variable _N_ and an increment trick in DO UNTIL() structure then the initializations before the loop are not needed any more. Besides such a short form, Paul Dorfman’s work on DoW-loop includes the invention of the dynamic file splitting method combining the DoW-loop and the hash object (also showed up in the meeting).

The double DoW-loop is under the name Howard Schreier and Richard DeVenezia (DeVenezia-Schreier Form; I should do more literature research on it!):

data d ;
do n = 1 by 1 until ( last.id ) ;
set a ;
by id ;

count = sum (count, 1) ;
sum = sum (sum, var) ;
end ;

mean = sum / count ;

do n = 1 by 1 until ( last.id ) ;
set a ;
by id ;
output;
end ;
run ;

/*********/

/**update 1******/

Thanks to Quentin’s message, Don Henderson’s The SAS Supervisor can be even traced back to 1983.

/**update 2******/

I used a Star Wars style of opening crawl to render Paul Dorfman’s DoW-loop verses simply because the finding of Don Henderson looks slightly like a prequel for me (although I have no intention to make up a Star Wars parody). Actually, as Paul stated, the honor belongs to an American author, Edgar Allan Poe and one of his poems, The Raven:

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore —
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“‘Tis some visiter,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door —
Only this and nothing more.”

/**update 3******/

A double DoW demo in recent SAS-L(Sat, 27 Oct 2012).