There are more than 70 procedures in SAS/STAT software, and the majority of them are dedicated to solving problems in statistical modeling. The goal of this chapter is to provide a roadmap to statistical models and to modeling tasks, enabling you to make informed choices about the appropriate modeling context and tool. This chapter also introduces important terminology, notation, and concepts used throughout this documentation. Subsequent introductory chapters discuss model families and related procedures.
It is difficult to capture the complexity of statistical models in a simple scheme, so the classification used here is necessarily incomplete. It is most practical to classify models in terms of simple criteria, such as the presence of random effects, the presence of nonlinearity, characteristics of the data, and so on. That is the approach used here. After a brief introduction to statistical modeling in general terms, the chapter describes a number of model classifications and relates them to modeling tools in SAS/STAT software.