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st: RE: Y axis values for hist ,density

From   "Allan Reese (Cefas)" <>
To   <>
Subject   st: RE: Y axis values for hist ,density
Date   Mon, 31 Oct 2005 17:52:26 -0000

Nick Cox is right:
Allan's complaining about perceived perversity, but I am not clear what he 
would regard as good behaviour. 

Jann Ben is also right, and missed my point:
The purpose of a histogram is to make visible the shape of a density. 
It is therefore natural to report the y-axis in terms of a density. 

I can see this is a case of computers do what you tell them, but I'm not happy with it.
As was also pointed out, there are alternatives and I'm the first to agree that users should
look at and understand the graphs they draw.

But there seems something inherently wrong in calling a scale "density" when it can have 
values greater than 1.  Nor is it obvious to me what point there is having a scale when the
values may change with the number of bins.  I must remember to add "frac" every time, like
I add ylab(,angle(0)) as a reflex ;-)


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