Old Faithful and Histogram Bin Size
Histogram are a remarkable way to "see" data. And, carefully constructed,
a histogram can reveal a lot of information. Nevertheless, some care
must also be taken when making a histogram. In particular, how the bin
size is selected makes a big difference.
An Example: Old Faithful Eruption Times
Look at the histogram below. It shows the lengh of eruptions (in minutes)
of Old Faithful. Notice that you can adjust the bin width
by dragging on the marker of the bin width scale. Play around with
it and see which bin width gives you the best "view" of the data.
For more information on Old Faithful eruptions and possible explanations
for what you see in this hitogram, see the following links:
WyoJones' Yellowstone Geyser Pages has info about Old Faithful, including
photos and many links to articles, data, etc.
- One of the sample data sets in
WebStat (a Java statistical package you can run from your brouser)
contains data from various measurements of Old Faithful eruptions, including
both length of eruption and interval between eruptions.
The applet used on this page was made by
R. Webster West
Department of Statistics
University of South Carolina
Columbia, SC 29208
Office Phone: (803) 777-3792
Fax: (803) 797-1822
http://www.stat.sc.edu/~west/javahtml/Histogram.html for more information,
including how to put this applet on your own pages with your own data.
This page maintained by:
Thursday, 11-Jan-2001 16:02:18 EST
Department of Mathematics and Statistics