I've been disappointed for a while now with the options for displaying population variation or uncertainty in graphs.
(For the files used to create the graphs, see here and here.)
As far as I can tell, there are three options for plotting :
- Standard bar chart + error bars (typically at +- 2*SD, ie. α = 0.05; For example)
- Co-graphed CDFs of the populations or samples (For example)
- Co-graphed histograms (or PDFs) of the populations (For Example)
My complaint is that:
- Requires that the reader be familiar with the concept of population variation and/or uncertainty; it does not provide intuitive support for the idea.
- Is a somewhat unusual type of graph, so the unsophisticated may not know how to read it. Plus, it gets messy when a large number of data series are graphed.
- Is just plain weird to read if there's substantial differences between the variation of the datasets.
To that end, this instructable is an experiment in intuitive, layman-friendly presentation of population variation within a bar chart by, essentially, topping each bar with a CDF.
Let me know what you think!
Also let me know if you know of any work similar to this, or if you have any ideas on the topic.
Step 1: Creating Said Charts
Since this is an early experiment, my process is pretty rough (and time consuming), but here goes: