Many statistical libraries in R offer the possibility to fit a model and then use the results of optimization to predict values some periods ahead. However, many do not have the possibility to backtest the results out-of-sample.

Therefore, I want to build an R function that allows me to (walk forward approach):

  1. Define a training set using a moving window (each looping time, remove oldest observation & add most recent)
  2. Run optimizer thus calibrating the model
  3. Use the calibrated model to generate n step ahead forecast
  4. Store the new forecast in a vector of out-of-sample predicted values (together with the date of forecast)
  5. Loop through 1-4 I tried the following (x is the length of the out-of-sample set, n the fixed length of the training set):
for (j in range (0:x)){
    append <- vector()
    forecast <- vector()
    set <- train [j+1:n+j,]
    fit <- fit(data = set, model) 
    forecast <- predict(fit, ahead = 1) 
    append <- cbind(lubridate::as_date(ts_date[n+j+1]), forecast)
    forc <- rbind(forc, append)

However, the matrix forc contains only the first and the last result of the loop.

Can anyone spot a mistake here?

  • $\begingroup$ I don’t see anything wrong with it but it’s hard to say without having access to the complete script. $\endgroup$
    – Bob Jansen
    Sep 24, 2019 at 19:37
  • $\begingroup$ Also, what does range do? Seems like a pythonism that doesn’t belong. $\endgroup$
    – Bob Jansen
    Sep 24, 2019 at 20:58

1 Answer 1


You need to remove the call to range. In Python it’s necessary but here it just returns the smallest and largest element of the vector.

  • $\begingroup$ It works, great point, thank you so much! $\endgroup$
    – Vitomir
    Sep 24, 2019 at 21:07

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