[R] understanding patterns in categorical vs. continuous data

From: Dylan Beaudette <dylan.beaudette_at_gmail.com>
Date: Fri 27 Jan 2006 - 06:11:00 EST


Greetings,

I have a set of bivariate data: one variable (vegetation type) which is categorical, and one (computed annual insolation) which is continuous. Plotting veg_type ~ insolation produces a nice overview of the patterns that I can see in the source data. However, due to the large number of samples (1,000), and the apparent "spread" in the distribution of a single vegetation type over a range of insolation values- I having a hard time quantitatively describing the relationship between the two variables.

Here is a link to a sample graph:
http://casoilresource.lawr.ucdavis.edu/drupal/node/162

Since the data along each vegetation type "line" is not a distribution in the traditional sense, I am having problems applying descriptive statistical methods. Conceptually, I would like to some how describe the variation with insolation, along each vegetation type "line".

Any guidance, or suggested reading material would be greatly appreciated.

-- 
Dylan Beaudette
Soils and Biogeochemistry Graduate Group
University of California at Davis
530.754.7341

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Received on Fri Jan 27 06:14:11 2006

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