lubridate

Syntax

  • ymd_hms(..., quiet = FALSE, tz = "UTC", locale = Sys.getlocale("LC_TIME"))
  • now(tzone = "")
  • interval(start, end, tzone = attr(start, "tzone"))
  • duration(num = NULL, units = "seconds", ...)
  • period(num = NULL, units = "second", ...)

Remarks

To install package from CRAN:

install.packages("lubridate")

To install development version from Github:

library(devtools)
# dev mode allows testing of development packages in a sandbox, without interfering
# with the other packages you have installed.
dev_mode(on=T)
install_github("hadley/lubridate")
dev_mode(on=F)

To get vignettes on lubridate package:

vignette("lubridate")

To get help about some function foo:

help(foo)     # help about function foo
?foo          # same thing

# Example
# help("is.period")
# ?is.period

To get examples for a function foo:

example("foo")

# Example
# example("interval")

Difference between period and duration

Unlike durations, periods can be used to accurately model clock times without knowing when events such as leap seconds, leap days, and DST changes occur.

start_2012 <- ymd_hms("2012-01-01 12:00:00")
## [1] "2012-01-01 12:00:00 UTC"

# period() considers leap year calculations.
start_2012 + period(1, "years")
## [1] "2013-01-01 12:00:00 UTC"

# Here duration() doesn't consider leap year calculations. 
start_2012 + duration(1)
## [1] "2012-12-31 12:00:00 UTC"

Instants

An instant is a specific moment in time. Any date-time object that refers to a moment of time is recognized as an instant. To test if an object is an instant, use is.instant.

library(lubridate)

today_start <- dmy_hms("22.07.2016 12:00:00", tz = "IST") # default tz="UTC"
today_start
## [1] "2016-07-22 12:00:00 IST"
is.instant(today_start)
## [1] TRUE

now_dt <- ymd_hms(now(), tz="IST")
now_dt
## [1] "2016-07-22 13:53:09 IST"
is.instant(now_dt)
## [1] TRUE

is.instant("helloworld")
## [1] FALSE
is.instant(60)
## [1] FALSE

Intervals, Durations and Periods

Intervals are simplest way of recording timespans in lubridate. An interval is a span of time that occurs between two specific instants.

# create interval by substracting two instants
today_start <- ymd_hms("2016-07-22 12-00-00", tz="IST")
today_start
## [1] "2016-07-22 12:00:00 IST"
today_end <- ymd_hms("2016-07-22 23-59-59", tz="IST")
today_end
## [1] "2016-07-22 23:59:59 IST"
span <- today_end - today_start
span
## Time difference of 11.99972 hours
as.interval(span, today_start)
## [1] 2016-07-22 12:00:00 IST--2016-07-22 23:59:59 IST

# create interval using interval() function
span <- interval(today_start, today_end)
[1] 2016-07-22 12:00:00 IST--2016-07-22 23:59:59 IST

Durations measure the exact amount of time that occurs between two instants.

duration(60, "seconds")
## [1] "60s"

duration(2, "minutes")
## [1] "120s (~2 minutes)"

Note: Units larger than weeks are not used due to their variability.

Durations can be created using dseconds, dminutes and other duration helper functions.
Run ?quick_durations for complete list.

dseconds(60)
## [1] "60s"

dhours(2)
## [1] "7200s (~2 hours)"

dyears(1)
## [1] "31536000s (~365 days)"

Durations can be subtracted and added to instants to get new instants.

today_start + dhours(5)
## [1] "2016-07-22 17:00:00 IST"

today_start + dhours(5) + dminutes(30) + dseconds(15)
## [1] "2016-07-22 17:30:15 IST"

Durations can be created from intervals.

as.duration(span)
[1] "43199s (~12 hours)"

Periods measure the change in clock time that occurs between two instants.

Periods can be created using period function as well other helper functions like seconds, hours, etc. To get a complete list of period helper functions, Run ?quick_periods.

period(1, "hour")
## [1] "1H 0M 0S"

hours(1)
## [1] "1H 0M 0S"

period(6, "months")
## [1] "6m 0d 0H 0M 0S"

months(6)
## [1] "6m 0d 0H 0M 0S"

years(1)
## [1] "1y 0m 0d 0H 0M 0S"

is.period function can be used to check if an object is a period.

is.period(years(1))
## [1] TRUE

is.period(dyears(1))    
## [1] FALSE

Manipulating date and time in lubridate

date <- now()
date
## "2016-07-22 03:42:35 IST"

year(date)
## 2016

minute(date)
## 42

wday(date, label = T, abbr = T)
# [1] Fri
# Levels: Sun < Mon < Tues < Wed < Thurs < Fri < Sat

day(date) <- 31
## "2016-07-31 03:42:35 IST"

# If an element is set to a larger value than it supports, the difference
#  will roll over into the next higher element
day(date) <- 32
## "2016-08-01 03:42:35 IST"

Parsing date and time in lubridate

Lubridate provides ymd() series of functions for parsing character strings into dates. The letters y, m, and d correspond to the year, month, and day elements of a date-time.

mdy("07-21-2016")                 # Returns Date

## [1] "2016-07-21"

mdy("07-21-2016", tz = "UTC")     # Returns a vector of class POSIXt

## "2016-07-21 UTC"

dmy("21-07-2016")                 # Returns Date

## [1] "2016-07-21"

dmy(c("21.07.2016", "22.07.2016")) # Returns vector of class Date

## [1] "2016-07-21" "2016-07-22"

Parsing dates and datetimes from strings with lubridate

The lubridate package provides convenient functions to format date and datetime objects from character strings. The functions are permutations of

LetterElement to parseBase R equivalent
yyear%y, %Y
m (with y and d)month%m, %b, %h, %B
dday%d, %e
hhour%H, %I%p
m (with h and s)minute%M
sseconds%S

e.g. ymd() for parsing a date with the year followed by the month followed by the day, e.g. "2016-07-22", or ymd_hms() for parsing a datetime in the order year, month, day, hours, minutes, seconds, e.g. "2016-07-22 13:04:47".

The functions are able to recognize most separators (such as /, -, and whitespace) without additional arguments. They also work with inconsistent separators.


Dates

The date functions return an object of class Date.

library(lubridate) 

mdy(c(' 07/02/2016 ', '7 / 03 / 2016', ' 7 / 4 / 16 '))
## [1] "2016-07-02" "2016-07-03" "2016-07-04"

ymd(c("20160724","2016/07/23","2016-07-25"))    # inconsistent separators
## [1] "2016-07-24" "2016-07-23" "2016-07-25"

Datetimes

Utility functions

Datetimes can be parsed using ymd_hms variants including ymd_hm and ymd_h. All datetime functions can accept a tz timezone argument akin to that of as.POSIXct or strptime, but which defaults to "UTC" instead of the local timezone.

The datetime functions return an object of class POSIXct.

x <- c("20160724 130102","2016/07/23 14:02:01","2016-07-25 15:03:00")
ymd_hms(x, tz="EST")
## [1] "2016-07-24 13:01:02 EST" "2016-07-23 14:02:01 EST"
## [3] "2016-07-25 15:03:00 EST"

ymd_hms(x)
## [1] "2016-07-24 13:01:02 UTC" "2016-07-23 14:02:01 UTC"
## [3] "2016-07-25 15:03:00 UTC"

Parser functions

lubridate also includes three functions for parsing datetimes with a formatting string like as.POSIXct or strptime:

FunctionOutput ClassFormatting strings accepted
parse_date_timePOSIXctFlexible. Will accept strptime-style with % or lubridate datetime function name style, e.g "ymd hms". Will accept a vector of orders for heterogeneous data and guess which is appropriate.
parse_date_time2Default POSIXct; if lt = TRUE, POSIXltStrict. Accepts only strptime tokens (with or without %) from a limited set.
fast_strptimeDefault POSIXlt; if lt = FALSE, POSIXctStrict. Accepts only %-delimited strptime tokens with delimiters (-, /, :, etc.) from a limited set.
x <- c('2016-07-22 13:04:47', '07/22/2016 1:04:47 pm')

parse_date_time(x, orders = c('mdy Imsp', 'ymd hms'))
## [1] "2016-07-22 13:04:47 UTC" "2016-07-22 13:04:47 UTC"

x <- c('2016-07-22 13:04:47', '2016-07-22 14:47:58')

parse_date_time2(x, orders = 'Ymd HMS')
## [1] "2016-07-22 13:04:47 UTC" "2016-07-22 14:47:58 UTC"

fast_strptime(x, format = '%Y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S')
## [1] "2016-07-22 13:04:47 UTC" "2016-07-22 14:47:58 UTC"

parse_date_time2 and fast_strptime use a fast C parser for efficiency.

See ?parse_date_time for formatting tokens.

Rounding dates

now_dt <- ymd_hms(now(), tz="IST")
now_dt
## [1] "2016-07-22 13:53:09 IST"

round_date() takes a date-time object and rounds it to the nearest integer value of the specified time unit.

round_date(now_dt, "minute")
## [1] "2016-07-22 13:53:00 IST"

round_date(now_dt, "hour")
## [1] "2016-07-22 14:00:00 IST"

round_date(now_dt, "year")
## [1] "2017-01-01 IST"

floor_date() takes a date-time object and rounds it down to the nearest integer value of the specified time unit.

floor_date(now_dt, "minute")
## [1] "2016-07-22 13:53:00 IST"

floor_date(now_dt, "hour")
## [1] "2016-07-22 13:00:00 IST"

floor_date(now_dt, "year")
## [1] "2016-01-01 IST"

ceiling_date() takes a date-time object and rounds it up to the nearest integer value of the specified time unit.

ceiling_date(now_dt, "minute")
## [1] "2016-07-22 13:54:00 IST"

ceiling_date(now_dt, "hour")
## [1] "2016-07-22 14:00:00 IST"

ceiling_date(now_dt, "year")
## [1] "2017-01-01 IST"

Time Zones

with_tz returns a date-time as it would appear in a different time zone.

nyc_time <- now("America/New_York")
nyc_time
## [1] "2016-07-22 05:49:08 EDT"

# corresponding Europe/Moscow time
with_tz(nyc_time, tzone = "Europe/Moscow")
## [1] "2016-07-22 12:49:08 MSK"

force_tz returns a the date-time that has the same clock time as x in the new time zone.

nyc_time <- now("America/New_York")
nyc_time
## [1] "2016-07-22 05:49:08 EDT"

force_tz(nyc_time, tzone = "Europe/Moscow") # only timezone changes
## [1] "2016-07-22 05:49:08 MSK"


2016-07-22
2017-02-08
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