boxplot {graphics}R Documentation

Box Plots


Produce box-and-whisker plot(s) of the given (grouped) values.


boxplot(x, ...)

## S3 method for class 'formula':
boxplot(formula, data = NULL, ..., subset, na.action = NULL)

## Default S3 method:
boxplot(x, ..., range = 1.5, width = NULL, varwidth = FALSE,
        notch = FALSE, outline = TRUE, names, plot = TRUE,
        border = par("fg"), col = NULL, log = "",
        pars = list(boxwex = 0.8, staplewex = 0.5, outwex = 0.5),
        horizontal = FALSE, add = FALSE, at = NULL)


formula a formula, such as y ~ grp, where y is a numeric vector of data values to be split into groups according to the grouping variable grp (usually a factor).
data a data.frame (or list) from which the variables in formula should be taken.
subset an optional vector specifying a subset of observations to be used for plotting.
na.action a function which indicates what should happen when the data contain NAs. The default is to ignore missing values in either the response or the group.
x for specifying data from which the boxplots are to be produced. Either a numeric vector, or a single list containing such vectors. Additional unnamed arguments specify further data as separate vectors (each corresponding to a component boxplot). NAs are allowed in the data.
... For the formula method, arguments to the default method and graphical parameters.
For the default method, unnamed arguments are additional data vectors (unless x is a list when they are ignored), and named arguments are graphical parameters in addition to the ones given by argument pars.
range this determines how far the plot whiskers extend out from the box. If range is positive, the whiskers extend to the most extreme data point which is no more than range times the interquartile range from the box. A value of zero causes the whiskers to extend to the data extremes.
width a vector giving the relative widths of the boxes making up the plot.
varwidth if varwidth is TRUE, the boxes are drawn with widths proportional to the square-roots of the number of observations in the groups.
notch if notch is TRUE, a notch is drawn in each side of the boxes. If the notches of two plots do not overlap this is ‘strong evidence’ that the two medians differ (Chambers et al., 1983, p. 62). See boxplot.stats for the calculations used.
outline if outline is not true, the outliers are not drawn (as points whereas S+ uses lines).
names group labels which will be printed under each boxplot.
boxwex a scale factor to be applied to all boxes. When there are only a few groups, the appearance of the plot can be improved by making the boxes narrower.
staplewex staple line width expansion, proportional to box width.
outwex outlier line width expansion, proportional to box width.
plot if TRUE (the default) then a boxplot is produced. If not, the summaries which the boxplots are based on are returned.
border an optional vector of colors for the outlines of the boxplots. The values in border are recycled if the length of border is less than the number of plots.
col if col is non-null it is assumed to contain colors to be used to colour the bodies of the box plots.
log character indicating if x or y or both coordinates should be plotted in log scale.
pars a list of (potentially many) more graphical parameters, e.g., boxwex or outpch; these are passed to bxp (if plot is true); for details, see there.
horizontal logical indicating if the boxplots should be horizontal; default FALSE means vertical boxes.
add logical, if true add boxplot to current plot.
at numeric vector giving the locations where the boxplots should be drawn, particularly when add = TRUE; defaults to 1:n where n is the number of boxes.


The generic function boxplot currently has a default method (boxplot.default) and a formula interface (boxplot.formula).

If multiple groups are supplied either as multiple arguments or via a formula, parallel boxplots will be plotted, in the order of the arguments or the order of the levels of the factor (see factor).

Missing values are ignored when forming boxplots.


List with the following components:

stats a matrix, each column contains the extreme of the lower whisker, the lower hinge, the median, the upper hinge and the extreme of the upper whisker for one group/plot.
n a vector with the number of observations in each group.
conf a matrix where each column contains the lower and upper extremes of the notch.
out the values of any data points which lie beyond the extremes of the whiskers.
group a vector of the same length as out whose elements indicate which group the outlier belongs to
names a vector of names for the groups


Becker, R. A., Chambers, J. M. and Wilks, A. R. (1988) The New S Language. Wadsworth & Brooks/Cole.

Chambers, J. M., Cleveland, W. S., Kleiner, B. and Tukey, P. A. (1983) Graphical Methods for Data Analysis. Wadsworth & Brooks/Cole.

See also boxplot.stats.

See Also

boxplot.stats which does the computation, bxp for the plotting and more examples; and stripchart for an alternative (with small data sets).


## boxplot on a formula:
boxplot(count ~ spray, data = InsectSprays, col = "lightgray")
# *add* notches (somewhat funny here):
boxplot(count ~ spray, data = InsectSprays,
        notch = TRUE, add = TRUE, col = "blue")

boxplot(decrease ~ treatment, data = OrchardSprays,
        log = "y", col = "bisque")

rb <- boxplot(decrease ~ treatment, data = OrchardSprays, col="bisque")
title("Comparing boxplot()s and non-robust mean +/- SD")

mn.t <- tapply(OrchardSprays$decrease, OrchardSprays$treatment, mean)
sd.t <- tapply(OrchardSprays$decrease, OrchardSprays$treatment, sd)
xi <- 0.3 + seq(rb$n)
points(xi, mn.t, col = "orange", pch = 18)
arrows(xi, mn.t - sd.t, xi, mn.t + sd.t,
       code = 3, col = "pink", angle = 75, length = .1)

## boxplot on a matrix:
mat <- cbind(Uni05 = (1:100)/21, Norm = rnorm(100),
             T5 = rt(100, df = 5), Gam2 = rgamma(100, shape = 2))
boxplot(data.frame(mat), main = "boxplot(data.frame(mat), main = ...)")
par(las=1)# all axis labels horizontal
boxplot(data.frame(mat), main = "boxplot(*, horizontal = TRUE)",
        horizontal = TRUE)

## Using 'at = ' and adding boxplots -- example idea by Roger Bivand :

boxplot(len ~ dose, data = ToothGrowth,
        boxwex = 0.25, at = 1:3 - 0.2,
        subset = supp == "VC", col = "yellow",
        main = "Guinea Pigs' Tooth Growth",
        xlab = "Vitamin C dose mg",
        ylab = "tooth length", ylim = c(0,35))
boxplot(len ~ dose, data = ToothGrowth, add = TRUE,
        boxwex = 0.25, at = 1:3 + 0.2,
        subset = supp == "OJ", col = "orange")
legend(2, 9, c("Ascorbic acid", "Orange juice"),
       fill = c("yellow", "orange"))

## more examples in  help(bxp)

[Package graphics version 2.1.0 Index]