looking for graphing software

Travis Gee tgee at rideau.carleton.ca
Wed Feb 12 11:39:05 EST 1997


In <3300945A.15FB7483 at t10.lanl.gov> Carla Kuiken <kuiken at t10.lanl.gov> writes:

>I'm trying to produce a scatter plot with a few labeled values (like
>years) on the X axis, and a lot of numerical values on the Y axis. Many
>of the points have the same X and Y coordinates. I'm looking for
>software that can plot these next to, instead of on top of, each other.
>I have an ancient DOS program called FigP that used to do this, but it's
>given up the ghost. Unix, mac or PC are OK, although I prefer PC
>software. It doesn't have to be free either. Thanks for any suggestions.


Carla,

How 'bout this suggestion:  **copy** your data to a file that 
you use for input to any ol' graphing program & change its
name so it never gets mixed up with the original data.  Then
use some kind of random number generator to "fuzz" the (X,Y)
values in some specified range. Suppose your data look like this:

(1,1)
(1,1)
(1,1)
(2,3)
(2,3)
(2,3)

Adding values on a uniform distribution with mean 0 and range 
+/- .5 might make it come out like this:

(1.12,1.14)
(1.25,1.37)
(.88.,1.01)
(1.55.,3.21)
(2.03,2.98)
(2.44,2.78)

It's sort of like reverse rounding.  Just assign a value
within the range that would round off to the original 
data points.  That way on the graph, the eye will 'round'
to the centre of the cloud, and the density of the cloud
will indicate the number of values in that vicinity. If
you're very particular about displaying *all* points with
absolutely no overlap, have your program sort the values
and re-assign an (X,Y) set of values to each one that 
matches the preceding one. Iterate until all values are unique,
or if you're not so particular, until the number of duplicates
hits some minimum threshold. In your case, it sounds like you
might only want to do this with the X values, which will
produce a rather different look, but one which will hopefully
be informative.

Hope this helps!

((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((
Travis Gee () tgee at superior.carleton.ca ()
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"In science, the more we know the more extensive the 
contact with nescience."  -Spencer

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