# Re: spikes in contour and persp (PR#327)

Subject: Re: spikes in contour and persp (PR#327)
From: Peter Dalgaard BSA (p.dalgaard@biostat.ku.dk)
Date: Tue 16 Nov 1999 - 23:15:59 EST

Message-ID: <x21z9q37cg.fsf@blueberry.kubism.ku.dk>

ripley@stats.ox.ac.uk writes:

> > From: jlindsey@alpha.luc.ac.be
> > Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999 08:57:00 +0100 (MET)
> >
> > The following matrix of normed likelihoods should give a smooth
> > surface but instead gives a series of spikes in both persp and contour
> > (the dim labels are the axes values). I know an algorithm cannot be
> > infallible but it would be nice to have some parameters to control the
> > smoothing. (It takes close to an hour to produce this matrix on a
> > Pentium II 300mh. It was after that that it crashed with the Inf in my
> > previous bug message...)
>
>
> I am sorry, but I don't understand. contour does not do any
> smoothing, but interpolates assuming smoothness. The data
> appears to me to be a series of spikes just off the diagonal, and not
> what contour thinks of as a smooth surface. It is common to
> interpolate the data from such a coarse grid before contouring.
>
> persp just plots the data with visual linear interpolation.
>

To elaborate a little: The contouring is of course algorithm
dependent.

Let's look at a section of the data:

1 17 15 1 0 0
0 3 34 21 1 0
0 0 6 57 26 1
0 0 0 12 79 29

One contouring method works by linear interpolation on triangles, so when
creating the line for, say z=25, it will draw four lines *around* 34,
then one connecting the 21-57 line, the 6-57, the 12-57 and the 12-79
and on the other end 21-26 (diag) 26-1 (vertical) 26-1 (horizontal) and 1-29.
This gives two disjoint contours and an apparent peak at 34. The
algorithm in R is pretty similar to this as far as I recall.

Alternatively one could have bilinear interpolation which would fit a
curve with a saddlepoint to the square

34 21
6 57

and draw one connected contour. However, bilinear interpolation is a
bit of a pain, because the contours are not lines, but pieces of a
hyperbola, which is not nearly as easy to draw. And if the contour
level is close enough to 34, you'll get the peak effect anyway.

In any case, this is not a bug, it's an algorithm with shortcomings.

--
O__  ---- Peter Dalgaard             Blegdamsvej 3
c/ /'_ --- Dept. of Biostatistics     2200 Cph. N
(*) \(*) -- University of Copenhagen   Denmark      Ph: (+45) 35327918
~~~~~~~~~~ - (p.dalgaard@biostat.ku.dk)             FAX: (+45) 35327907
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