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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:[1]

  • restrict or divide the time range
  • select cross sections of data
  • select particular kinds of time series
  • exclude particular observations


  1. ^ SAS Institute (1 August 2012). SAS/ETS 12.1 User's Guide. SAS Institute. p. 70. ISBN 978-1-61290-379-8. 

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