[R] Unexpected behavior from hist()

David Carlson dcarlson at tamu.edu
Thu Jun 13 17:56:05 CEST 2013

```Density means that the AREAS of the bars add to 1, not the HEIGHTS
of the bars. You probably have intervals that are less than 1. Eg:

> set.seed(42)
> x <- rpois(1000, 5)/100
> info <- hist(x, prob=TRUE)
> info
\$breaks
[1] 0.00 0.01 0.02 0.03 0.04 0.05 0.06 0.07 0.08 0.09 0.10 0.11
0.12 0.13

\$counts
[1]  42  88 151 177 178 131  97  70  43  14   6   2   1

\$density
[1]  4.2  8.8 15.1 17.7 17.8 13.1  9.7  7.0  4.3  1.4  0.6  0.2
0.1

\$mids
[1] 0.005 0.015 0.025 0.035 0.045 0.055 0.065 0.075 0.085 0.095
0.105 0.115
[13] 0.125

\$xname
[1] "x"

\$equidist
[1] TRUE

attr(,"class")
[1] "histogram"
> diff(info\$breaks)*info\$density # Areas of each bar
[1] 0.042 0.088 0.151 0.177 0.178 0.131 0.097 0.070 0.043 0.014
0.006 0.002
[13] 0.001
> sum(diff(info\$breaks)*info\$density) # Sum of the areas
[1] 1

-------------------------------------
David L Carlson
Associate Professor of Anthropology
Texas A&M University
College Station, TX 77840-4352

-----Original Message-----
From: r-help-bounces at r-project.org
[mailto:r-help-bounces at r-project.org] On Behalf Of Sarah Goslee
Sent: Thursday, June 13, 2013 10:36 AM
Cc: r-help at r-project.org
Subject: Re: [R] Unexpected behavior from hist()

Hi,

On Thu, Jun 13, 2013 at 11:13 AM, Mohamed Badawy
> Hi... I'm still a beginner in R. While doing some curve-fitting
with a raw data set of length 22,000, here is what I had:
>
>
>
>> hist(y,col="red")
>
> gives me the frequency histogram, 13 total rectangles, highest is
near 5000.
>

You don't provide a reproducible example, so here's some fake data:

somedata <- runif(1000)

> Now
>
>> hist(y,prob=TRUE,col="red",ylim=c(0,1.5))
>
> gives me the density (probability?) histogram, same number f
rectangles, but the highest rectangle is obviously higher than 1,
how can this be?!!!

Because you misread the help. using freq=FALSE (equivalent to
prob=TRUE, which is a legacy option), you are getting:

freq: logical; if 'TRUE', the histogram graphic is a representation
of frequencies, the 'counts' component of the result; if
'FALSE', probability densities, component 'density', are
plotted (so that the histogram has a total area of one).
Defaults to 'TRUE' _if and only if_ 'breaks' are
equidistant
(and 'probability' is not specified).

It sounds like what you actually want is:

somehist <- hist(somedata, plot=FALSE)
somehist\$counts <- somehist\$counts/sum(somehist\$counts)
plot(somehist)

> P.S. I had to post this thread via email as it got rejected as I
posted it from Nabble, reason was "Message rejected by filter rule
match"

Nabble is not the R-help mailing list. Posting via email is the
correct thing to do.

Sarah

--
Sarah Goslee
http://www.functionaldiversity.org

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