Meta Stack Exchange is where users like you discuss bugs, features, and support issues that affect the software powering all 158 Stack Exchange communities.

What is meta?
Here's how it works:
  1. Any Stack Exchange user can ask a question
  2. The community provides support, votes on ideas, and reports bugs
  3. Your voice helps shape the way Stack Exchange operates

I work with big data and machine learning and when I have a question for the stackoverflow community, I am often unsure of how to tractably provide a reproducible example.

With a big dataset, especially one with many columns, it may be hard to know which part of the dataset is causing the problem -- and therefore hard to know what part to reproduce.

For example, if I am trying to run a command (e.g., lasso) on a large data set (my current project's dataset is around 200 MB) but getting an error message, how could I create a toy dataset for other members of the community to reproduce that captures the necessary features of data?

I suppose one could upload a .csv to Github as discussed here. But this does not seem like the best solution to me due to privacy or proprietary issues related with many datasets.

share|improve this question
I'm not sure how you could recreate such a thing. But usually it won't be necessary as long as you describe exactly what you are doing, what you've tried and the key to get a good answer : What is the error you are getting, when and where you get it. From there, chances are someone can solve your problem. Your in good hands here. – ʞunɥdɐpɐɥd May 31 '13 at 19:53
Contrary to what some people seem to think, an SSCCE is not always necessary. A good problem statement goes a long way. This, I think, is one of the less emphasized but more important points in question-asking tutorials; the absolute most important part is the problem statement. If you have that and some work, it's a good fit. – Emrakul May 31 '13 at 21:35

You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .