[R] Impaired boxplot functionality - mean instead of median

Gabor Grothendieck ggrothendieck at gmail.com
Thu Dec 1 18:19:07 CET 2005

On 12/1/05, Evgeniy Kachalin <ka4alin at yandex.ru> wrote:
> Martin Maechler │п│и│ш│е│т:
> > Boxplots were invented by John W. Tukey and I think should be
> > counted among the top "small but smart" achievements from the
> > 20th century.  Very wisely he did *not* use mean and standard deviations.
> >
> > Even though it's possible to draw boxplots that are not boxplots
> > (and people only recently explained how to do this with R on this
> >  mailing list), I'm arguing very strongly against this.
> >
> > If I see a boxplot - I'd want it to be a boxplot and not have
> > the silly (please excuse)  10%--------90% whiskers  which
> > declare 20% of the points as outliers {in the boxplot sense}.
> >
> > If you want the mean +/- sd plot, do *not* misuse boxplots
> > for them, please!
> >
> So I analize genetics data. I have some factor (gene variant, c(1,2,3))
> and the quantitative variable corresponding to that factor. How do I
> visualize this situation? Compare mean of samples corresponding to
> factor values?
> Should boxplot support 'mean-in-the-middle', it would fit my needs
> ideally. How do I plot mean +/- SD plot?
> Also there is a way to rewrite boxplot.stats and replace "fivenum" there
> for self-made function. Then I would need to write self-made
> boxplot.formula (or boxplot.default?) function. And all this stuff would
> not be configurable. I'm still novice in R, so I need simple way to
> pre-visualize my data and estimate approximate result.

Not sure exactly what you want but perhaps thermometer plots
would help?


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