We use

**dist**function in R to calculate distance matrix, with Euclidean distance as its default method.

As you recall, the Euclidean distance formula of two dimensional space between two points is:

sqrt( (x2-x1)^2 + (y2-y1)^2 )

The distance formula of three dimensional space between two points is:

sqrt( (x2-x1)^2 + (y2-y1)^2 + (z2 - z1)^2 )

Now, let's practice with its implementation in R. Along the example, we will use data frame variable named

**datatocalculate**.
> datatocalculate <- data.frame( x = c(1, 2), y = c(2, 4) )

> datatocalculate

x y

1 1 2

2 2 4

Now, let's calculate the distance matrix

**.**

> dist(datatocalculate)

The output should be like the following - with additional colors added to make it easy to explain later.

1

2 2.236068

The calculated distance from 1 to 2 is 2.236068. It is a result of the following calculation.

sqrt((2-1)^2 + (4-2)^2)

sqrt(5)

2.236068

We will now modify

**datatocalculate**with the following new values.
> datatocalculate <- data.frame( x = c(1, 2, 1), y = c(2, 4, 6) )

> datatocalculate

1 1 2

2 2 4

3 1 6

Calculate the distance matrix again.

> dist(datatocalculate)

2 2.236068

3 4.000000 2.236068

The calculated distance from 1 to 2 is 2.236068. It is a result of the following calculation:

sqrt((2-1)^2 + (4-2)^2)

sqrt(5)

2.236068

The calculated distance from 1 to 3 is 4.000000. It is a result of the following calculation:

sqrt((1-1)^2 + (6-2)^2)

sqrt(16)

4.000000

The calculated distance from 2 to 3 is 2.236068. It is a result of the following calculation:

sqrt((1-2)^2 + (6-4)^2)

sqrt(5)

2.236068

That's all. Hope this short article will make you clear on the usage of

**dist**function in R.
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