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15.4. Dependent Variable Is a Date

Applies to: NeuralTools, all releases

Does NeuralTools treat dates in the dependent column as Category or as Numeric? Also, are there any restrictions to consider when using dates in the dependent column?

Excel treats dates as numbers, just applying special formats to them. The part before the decimal point is the number of days since 1900-01-01, and the part after the decimal point is the time of day. If you change cell formatting to a regular numeric format, you can see the underlying representation of the date as a number.

NeuralTools treats dates as numbers, because Excel does. NeuralTools doesn't know anything about these numeric values being displayed as dates. But NeuralTools does standardize numeric variables, so there's no need to worry about those date values being incommensurate with the independent variables.

There are no restrictions associated with using dates in NeuralTools cases. Of course, it might make sense in a particular data set to transform the date variable, just like any other numeric variable, for example by applying differencing.

Last edited: 2016-06-13

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