gnuplot's histogram plotting style (which is rather similar to the boxes style) has a variety of subtypes, which are demonstrated here. We'll use the following data file:
Date Level_0_Mins Level_1_Mins Level_2_Mins 2011-01-08 30.34 22.58 161.08 2011-01-15 23.83 20.33 104.00 2011-01-22 50.50 16.17 79.75 2011-01-29 67.59 21.74 99.25 2011-02-05 37.58 33.33 155.33 2011-02-12 48.17 44.33 66.00 2011-02-19 89.34 12.42 91.42 2011-02-26 113.09 35.83 123.34 2011-04-02 174.25 105.25 221.25 2011-04-09 98.09 55.92 109.00 2011-04-16 98.67 30.83 202.00 2011-04-23 87.17 58.25 127.09 2011-04-30 139.74 67.33 232.84 2011-04-30 20.0 10.0 30.0
Note that there are two entries (the last two lines) for 2011-04-30; this
is intentional (to demonstrate a point about time-based x values). As
described in my page on time-based
histograms, gnuplot does not support date/time values (as opposed to
labels) for the x axis. Hence, there is no gap where March
should be, and 2011-04-30 appears twice in the following plots. Try using
set xdata time and you'll see what I mean; you'll get the error
message "need full using spec for x time data". Similarly,
set xdata time will have no effect.
The following plot commands are common to all four of the histograms shown in this page.
clear reset unset key # Make the x axis labels easier to read. set xtics rotate out # Select histogram data set style data histogram # Give the bars a plain fill pattern, and draw a solid line around them. set style fill solid border
With the clustered style, one column in the data file corresponds to one bar in the plot, whilst the lines of the data file correspond to the clusters of the bars. Thus, using the following plot commands, we get three bars in each cluster, and one cluster for each row (notice the two clusters for 2011-04-30, which is what we expect).
set style histogram clustered plot for [COL=2:4] 'date_mins.tsv' using COL:xticlabels(1) title columnheader
Note the use of the
for feature. This allows us to select
multiple columns (2 to 4, in this case); without the
only be able to plot one column of data (using something like
'date_mins.tsv' using 3:xticlabels(1)), which defeats the purpose
of the clustered histogram:
The next histogram type is
errorbars. For this, gnuplot can
accept up to three columns for y values: the main value for the height of the
bar, and a minimum and maximum value for the errorbar. Thus:
# We need to set lw in order for error bars to actually appear. set style histogram errorbars linewidth 1 # Make the bars semi-transparent so that the errorbars are easier to see. set style fill solid 0.3 set bars front plot 'date_mins.tsv' using 2:3:4:xticlabels(1) title columnheader
This code uses column two for the bar size, column three for the errorbar's minimum, and column four for the maximum. Column one is again used for the x axis labels. If you're not careful, the errorbars might not appear (use the linewidth option), or the lower part might be obscured by the bar (make the fill pattern for the bar semi-transparent).
The next histogram type is
columnstacked. With this style, each
bar of the histogram corresponds to one column of the data. Thus, with our data,
we get three bars. Each bar is made up of a stack of 'slices', each
corresponding to one row of the data file (the labels for the x axis come from
the column headings, so we don't use
xticlabels for this plot).
Given that we have more rows than columns, the resulting plot looks rather
complex, and is not entirely suitable for visualising the data we have.
Note that we use slightly narrower bars for this and the row-stacked histograms; this makes them somewhat more pleasing to my eye.
set style histogram columnstacked set boxwidth 0.6 relative plot for [COL=2:4] 'date_mins.tsv' using COL title columnheader
Note that the date values from the first column aren't used in this plot.
The final histogram type is
rowstacked. With this style, each
bar corresponds to one row of the data file, with the bars consisting of slices
corresponding to the data columns. Thus, we get 14 bars each with three slices.
set style histogram rowstacked set boxwidth 0.6 relative plot for [COL=2:4] 'date_mins.tsv' using COL:xticlabels(1) title columnheader
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Content last updated: 2015-09-02