bpstrip {denstrip}R Documentation

Box-percentile strips


Box-percentile strips give a compact illustration of a distribution. The width of the strip is proportional to the probability of a more extreme point. This function adds a box-percentile strip to an existing plot.


bpstrip(x, prob, at, width, horiz=TRUE, scale=1, limits=c(-Inf, Inf), 
        col="gray", border=NULL, lwd, lty, ticks=NULL, tlen=1, twd, tty,



Either the vector of points at which the probability is evaluated (if prob supplied), or a sample from the distribution (if prob not supplied).


Probability, or cumulative density, of the distribution at x. If prob is not supplied, this is estimated from the sample x using ecdf(x).


Position of the centre of the strip on the y-axis (if horiz=TRUE) or the x-axis (if horiz=FALSE).


Thickness of the strip at its thickest point, which will be at the median. Defaults to 1/20 of the axis range.


Draw the strip horizontally (TRUE) or vertically (FALSE).


Alternative way of specifying the thickness of the strip, as a proportion of width.


Vector of minimum and maximum values, respectively, at which to terminate the strip.


Colour to shade the strip, either as a built-in R colour name (one of colors()) or an RGB hex value, e.g. black is "#000000".


Colour of the border, see polygon. Use border=NA to show no border. The default, 'NULL', means to use 'par("fg")' or its lattice equivalent.


Line width of the border (defaults to par("lwd") or its lattice equivalent).


Line type of the border (defaults to par("lty") or its lattice equivalent).


Vector of x-positions on the strip to draw tick marks, or NULL for no ticks.


Length of the ticks, relative to the thickness of the strip.


Line width of these marks (defaults to par("lwd") or its lattice equivalent).


Line type of these marks (defaults to par("lty") or its lattice equivalent).


Set this to TRUE to make bpstrip a lattice panel function instead of a base graphics function.
panel.bpstrip(x,...) is equivalent to bpstrip(x, lattice=TRUE, ...).


Other arguments passed to panel.bpstrip.


The box-percentile strip looks the same as the box-percentile plot (Esty and Banfield, 2003) which is a generalisation of the boxplot for summarising data. However, bpstrip is intended for illustrating distributions arising from parameter estimation or prediction. Either the distribution is known analytically, or an arbitrarily large sample from the distribution is assumed to be available via a method such as MCMC or bootstrapping.

The function bpplot in the Hmisc package can be used to draw vertical box-percentile plots of observed data.


Christopher Jackson <chris.jackson@mrc-bsu.cam.ac.uk>


Jackson, C. H. (2008) Displaying uncertainty with shading. The American Statistician, 62(4):340-347.

Esty, W. W. and Banfield, J. D. (2003) The box-percentile plot. Journal of Statistical Software 8(17).

See Also

vwstrip, cistrip, denstrip


x <- seq(-4, 4, length=1000)
prob <- pnorm(x)
plot(x, xlim=c(-5, 5), ylim=c(-5, 5), xlab="x", ylab="x", type="n")
bpstrip(x, prob, at=1, ticks=qnorm(c(0.25, 0.5, 0.75)))

## Terminate the strip at specific outer quantiles
bpstrip(x, prob, at=2, limits=qnorm(c(0.025, 0.975)))
bpstrip(x, prob, at=3, limits=qnorm(c(0.005, 0.995)))

## Compare with density strip
denstrip(x, dnorm(x), at=0)

## Estimate the density from a large sample 
x <- rnorm(10000)
bpstrip(x, at=4)

[Package denstrip version 1.5.4 Index]