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How to Fix: Error in select unused arguments in R?

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  • Last Updated : 18 Mar, 2022

In this article, we will be looking toward the approach to fix the error in selecting unused arguments in the R programming language.

Error in selecting unused arguments: The R compiler produces this error when a programmer tries to use the select() function of the dplyr package in R provided that the MASS package loaded. R tries to make use of the select() function from the MASS package instead when such an error takes place. This article focuses on how to fix this error.

Error: Error in select(., cyl, mpg) : unused arguments (cyl, mpg) 

When the error might occur:

Consider the following R program.

Example:

R




# R program to demonstrate when the 
# error might occur
  
# Importing libraries
library(dplyr)
library(MASS)
  
# Determine the average mpg grouped by 'cyl'
mtcars %>% select(cyl, mpg) %>% group_by(cyl) %>% summarize(avg_mpg = mean(mpg))


Output:

Interpretation: The compiler produces this error because there is a clash between the select() function from the MASS package and the select() function from the dplyr package.

How to Fix the Error:

This error can be eliminated by using the select() function directly from the dplyr package. 

Example:

R




# R program to demonstrate how to 
# fix the error
  
# Importing libraries
library(dplyr)
library(MASS)
  
# Determine the average mpg grouped by 'cyl'
mtcars %>%
  dplyr::select(cyl, mpg) %>%
  group_by(cyl) %>%
  summarize(avg_mpg = mean(mpg))


Output:

Interpretation: The code compiled successfully without any error because dplyr explicitly uses the select() function in the dplyr package rather than the MASS package.

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