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Error Bar Fill

 
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gfiksel



Joined: 03 Sep 2011
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:58 am    Post subject: Error Bar Fill Reply with quote

Currently, the errors are displayed as error bars. Quite often, it is more illustrative to display it as a band - that is to fill (with a solid color or noise, etc.) between (Y-Y_error_negative) and (Y-Y_error_positive). Of course, a workaround is to make these two columns and fill in between. It could be great if that can be done through a menu choice.
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David
Site Admin


Joined: 25 Nov 2006
Posts: 1939
Location: Chapel Hill, NC

PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 12:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here are the reasons that I haven't done this.

To do this with full flexibility will take a lot of UI space. I would need to do the following:

- Have an option for Y error and X error. I can't put both at the same time, so I have to make this two options and show only the column selectors that will apply.

- Since this is not a line method I would have to hide the line menu and line thickness.

- To give options such as solid color, noise etc I would either use the same fill as the Plot already uses or use separate fill options for the fill. Not clear which, since it might be a little cluttered to have both fills.

- I worry that this will make the UI a little complicated with big changes as you change options. Not sure that I can make it easy for people to realize what just happened.

- Decide what to do for various plot drawing styles, namely line, step and smooth. Not clear that the step option makes any sense for the error with fill but what should it do when you select that.

- It is not clear that this drawing method gives that much insight into the data unless you basically have so many points that the standard bars will blend together. When you don't have enough values the linear or worse yet spline curve between the data points suggests an error that might not be there.


I've thought about this in the past, and basically decided to avoid it since there wasn't a lot of requests to implement it. And the workaround isn't that onerous. You do have to create two columns, one for value+error and another for value-error. So instead of 3 columns (x,y,error) you have five. These columns however do not have to be displayed in the table, so when you paste in new data the columns will just be updated automatically without you seeing the detail. You will have two drawing commands instead of one, but since the error are option would have to duplicate a lot of the UI elements it is not clear that the number of UI entries to modify has increased that much. It will get a little tedious if you have masks, but you can put the mask in the command group and both plot commands will share it.


I'm of course willing to reconsider and re-evaluate the need. If this is common, it might make sense to find the most common use that people have and implement that and leave the full flexibility to the double command method. For example if you limit "y error only, fill only". Still leaves the question of what to do with the various connection line options.

David
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gfiksel



Joined: 03 Sep 2011
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, David,

Yes, I thought along the same lines and I did realized that there would be a large number of display options to deal with.

The specific reason I asked for that is, indeed, a very large number of points to display, so overlaying the errors bars gets messy. Almost looks like fill but not quite.

Here is another way to deal with that. What if in the error bar section to introduce one extra option - "Display every n-th point" and n can be chosen by a value or a slider.

Thanks for you help,
Gennady
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