Re: [R] Quick question: Does this graph have a name?

From: Antony Unwin <>
Date: Sun, 30 Mar 2008 18:30:41 +0200

mika03 wrote:
> Hi,
> I produced this graph with R and I am very happy with it. But now I
> wonder:
> Is this some standard way of displaying data and if so, does it have
> a name?
> (like Histogram, Box plot etc.)
> I need to explain the plot to people so knowing a bit more about what
> exactly this is, would certainly help ;-)

So you have been offered:
(1) stacked bar plot (Duncan Murdoch)
That's good, though most stacked bar plots have bars of equal width. (2) spineplot (Peter Jepsen)
Spineplots were introduced for comparing highlighted proportions in interactive graphics. Several people, including Nick Cox with Stata, want to use them for multiple groupings, as in this graphic, presumably because they only use static graphics. That seems to me a quite different use.
(3) Stack bar graph (Ken Nussear)
(4) Stacked bar chart (Frank Harrell)
And I like "Stacked barchart". The only snag is that I don't like the graphic When a graphic is good, then it's useful to be able to give it a good name. I'm not so sure this is a good graphic. Hadley Wickham rightly suggests that ordering may be important, though that would not bring much improvement. Frank Harrell suggests two-way dot charts with error markings of some kind. That might be what is needed, it depends on the aims of your analysis. Personally I suspect that one of two mosaicplot variants might be the best, either multiple barcharts or a fluctuation diagram. Why don't you make your data available, tell us what you want to show, and let all of us have a go?

Antony Unwin
Professor of Computer-Oriented Statistics and Data Analysis, Mathematics Institute,
University of Augsburg,

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