In research communities (for example, earth sciences, astronomy, business, and government), subsetting is the process of retrieving just the parts of large files which are of interest for a specific purpose. This occurs usually in a client—server setting, where the extraction of the parts of interest occurs on the server before the data is sent to the client over a network. The main purpose of subsetting is to save bandwidth on the network and storage space on the client computer.
Subsetting may be favorable for the following reasons:
- restrict or divide the time range
- select cross sections of data
- select particular kinds of time series
- exclude particular observations
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