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st: -tableplot- available on SSC


From   "Nick Cox" <n.j.cox@durham.ac.uk>
To   <statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu>
Subject   st: -tableplot- available on SSC
Date   Wed, 25 Feb 2004 17:24:18 -0000

Thanks to Kit Baum, a new package -tableplot- has been added 
to SSC. Stata 8 is required. To install, 

. ssc inst tableplot 

If this seems like déjà lu, please note that -tableplot- is 
not -tabplot-. 

What -tabplot- does is 

1 Calculate for a two-way table cell frequencies, fractions 
or percents 

2 Show them as a "table" of bars. It is just a wrapper for 
-twoway rbar-. 

What -tableplot- does is different. 

1 You have to specify something to be plotted. That 
must be something that takes just one value for each 
cell of a two-way table. This has to exist as a variable 
beforehand. It could be say a set of residuals from a model, 
or a summary statistic of some response for the cells
of a two-factor table.  

2 You must choose -rbar-, -rspike-, -rcap- or -rcapsym- 
as a -twoway- plottype. (I miss an -rdropline- for what 
have been called lollipop plots, in which the point 
symbol on the end of a spike emphasises direction: 


	O
	|
	|
	|
	-------------------------
					|
                              |
					O 
						
In the next version I may emulate that anyway.) 

In these programs, I'm playing in public. Sometimes 
I draw the graphs, and think "There is no gain over 
a table here: in fact a table is much better!". Sometimes
the graphs make something more evident, or more vivid. 
Of course, most graphs never make it to the printed page
anyway, and a useless graph is just a few seconds' work
discarded, once the program exists. But if anyone finds 
these programs useful (-tabplot- or -tableplot-) I'd 
appreciate a private note, with comment on what helped. 

This should find a formal outlet in Stata Journal 4(2) 
to appear in June. Stata Journal 4(1) includes 
a piece on graphing distributions and should be out 
next month. 

This is also a partly a reaction to mosaic displays 
or mosaic plots, which can be found in the literature 
or on the web. There is an excellent introductory 
tutorial at 

http://www.stat.auckland.ac.nz/~ihaka/120/Lectures/lecture17.pdf

and mosaic plots are available in various other programs
(e.g. R, as the provenance above would lead you to expect).

It's a very neat idea, and attractive because they extend 
to multi-way tables. A Stata implementation would be 
most welcome. In practice they require more getting used 
to than the rather conservative plots produced by -tabplot- 
or -tableplot-, as you have to learn to focus not on the 
area encoding but on lengths along one axis. 

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