How to Find Coefficient of Determination (R-Squared) in R

Spread the love

The coefficient of determination, commonly referred to as R^2 (R-squared), is a statistic used in the context of statistical modeling to measure the proportion of variance in the dependent variable that can be explained by the independent variables. Essentially, R^2 describes how well the model fits the observed data.

In the realm of linear regression, R^2 represents the square of the correlation between the observed and predicted values of the dependent variable. An R^2 value of 1 indicates that the model perfectly fits the data, whereas an R^2 value of 0 implies that the model does not explain any of the variability in the dependent variable.

In this article, we’ll delve deep into understanding the coefficient of determination and how you can compute it in the R programming language.


  1. Basics of Linear Regression
  2. Introducing the Coefficient of Determination
  3. Calculating R^2 in R
  4. Interpreting R^2
  5. Limitations and Considerations
  6. Conclusion

1. Basics of Linear Regression:

Before discussing R^2, it’s essential to understand linear regression. At its core, linear regression is a method to model the relationship between one dependent variable and one or more independent variables.

The basic linear regression equation is:


  • y is the dependent variable.
  • x1,x2,… are the independent variables.
  • β0 is the intercept.
  • β1,β2,… are the coefficients of the independent variables.
  • ϵ represents the error terms.

2. Introducing the Coefficient of Determination:

The coefficient of determination is the proportion of the variance in the dependent variable that is predictable from the independent variables. It is a measure that lets us quantify the “goodness of fit” of our regression model.

Mathematically, R^2 can be represented as:


  • SSres​ is the residual sum of squares: Σ(yi−y^i)^2
  • SStot​ is the total sum of squares: Σ(yi−yˉ)^2

3. Calculating R^2 in R:

R, a popular programming language for statistics and data analysis, offers a seamless way to calculate R^2. Here’s how you can do it using the lm() function:

# Create some sample data
x <- c(1,2,3,4,5)
y <- c(2,4,5,4,5)

# Fit a linear regression model
model <- lm(y ~ x)

# Extract the R-squared value

This code will return an R^2 value, indicating how well your model fits the data.

4. Interpreting R^2:

  • R^2 = 1: The model perfectly fits the data.
  • R^2 = 0: The model does not explain any variance in the dependent variable.
  • An R^2 close to 1: A higher proportion of variance in the dependent variable is explained by the independent variables.
  • An R^2 close to 0: The model does not fit the data well.

However, a high R^2 doesn’t always mean the model is good. It might indicate overfitting, especially when working with many independent variables.

5. Limitations and Considerations:

  1. Overfitting: A model with too many independent variables may have a high R^2, but it might not necessarily predict well for new data.
  2. Causation Fallacy: A high R^2 doesn’t imply causation between the dependent and independent variables.
  3. Outliers: R^2 can be sensitive to outliers. A single unusual data point can substantially change its value.
  4. Domain Knowledge: Always use domain knowledge in conjunction with R^2 to evaluate the quality of a model.

6. Conclusion:

The coefficient of determination, R^2, is an essential tool in statistical modeling, providing insights into the “goodness of fit” of a regression model. While it’s a useful measure, care must be taken not to over-interpret its value.

Posted in RTagged

Leave a Reply