Re: [R] bubble.plot() - standardize size of unit circle

From: Martin Maechler <>
Date: Sat 23 Jul 2005 - 00:09:00 EST


>>>>> "Dan" == Dan Bebber <>
>>>>> on Thu, 21 Jul 2005 12:05:45 +0100 (BST) writes:

    Dan> Hello,
    Dan> I wrote a wrapper for symbols() that produces a
    Dan> bivariate bubble plot, for use when plot(x,y) hides
    Dan> multiple occurrences of the same x,y combination (e.g.
    Dan> if x,y are integers).
    Dan> Circle area ~ counts per bin, and circle size is
    Dan> controlled by 'scale'.

I'm not answering your question, but still, I need to ask/tell this:

Why don't use sunflowerplot() instead?

The excellent researchers who invented sunflower plots in the late 70s early 1980s knew well about "bubble" alternatives and much about drawbacks of such bubbles
{mainly the perception laws of areas vs lengths ..}

That's why they came up with the sunflowers as improvement .. See 'References' in help(sunflowerplot)

Martin Maechler, ETH Zurich

    Dan> Question: how can I automatically make the smallest
    Dan> circle the same size as a standard plot character,
    Dan> rather than having to approximate it using 'scale'?

    Dan> #Function:
    Dan> bubble.plot<-function(x,y,scale=0.1,xlab=substitute(x),ylab=substitute(y),...){
    Dan> z<-table(x,y)
    Dan> xx<-rep(as.numeric(rownames(z)),ncol(z))
    Dan> yy<-sort(rep(as.numeric(colnames(z)),nrow(z)))
    Dan> id<-which(z!=0)
    Dan> symbols(xx[id],yy[id],inches=F,circles=sqrt(z[id])*scale,xlab=xlab,ylab=ylab,...)}
    Dan> #Example:
    Dan> x<-rpois(100,3)
    Dan> y<-x+rpois(100,2)
    Dan> bubble.plot(x,y)

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    Dan> !DSPAM:42df82ae77251002021314! mailing list PLEASE do read the posting guide! Received on Sat Jul 23 00:15:44 2005

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