2.2.1: Frequency Polygons and Time Series Graphs
- Page ID
- 10919
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Frequency Polygons
Frequency polygons are analogous to line graphs, and just as line graphs make continuous data visually easy to interpret, so too do frequency polygons. To construct a frequency polygon, first examine the data and decide on the number of intervals, or class intervals, to use on the x-axis and y-axis. After choosing the appropriate ranges, begin plotting the data points. After all the points are plotted, draw line segments to connect them.
You can create a Frequency Polygon from a grouped frequency distribution by using the class midpoints for the x-axis values. Frequency polygons are "anchored" on the x-axis on both ends, as you can see below.
Example \(\PageIndex{4}\)
A frequency polygon was constructed from the frequency table below.
Lower Bound | Upper Bound | Frequency | Cumulative Frequency |
---|---|---|---|
49.5 | 59.5 | 5 | 5 |
59.5 | 69.5 | 10 | 15 |
69.5 | 79.5 | 30 | 45 |
79.5 | 89.5 | 40 | 85 |
89.5 | 99.5 | 15 | 100 |
The first label on the x-axis is 44.5. This represents an interval extending from 39.5 to 49.5. Since the lowest test score is 54.5, this interval is used only to allow the graph to touch the x-axis. The point labeled 54.5 represents the next interval, or the first “real” interval from the table, and contains five scores. This reasoning is followed for each of the remaining intervals with the point 104.5 representing the interval from 99.5 to 109.5. Again, this interval contains no data and is only used so that the graph will touch the x-axis. Looking at the graph, we say that this distribution is skewed because one side of the graph does not mirror the other side.
Exercise \(\PageIndex{4}\)
Construct a frequency polygon of U.S. Presidents’ ages at inauguration shown in Table.
Age at Inauguration | Frequency |
---|---|
41.5–46.5 | 4 |
46.5–51.5 | 11 |
51.5–56.5 | 14 |
56.5–61.5 | 9 |
61.5–66.5 | 4 |
66.5–71.5 | 2 |
Answer
The first label on the x-axis is 39. This represents an interval extending from 36.5 to 41.5. Since there are no ages less than 41.5, this interval is used only to allow the graph to touch the x-axis. The point labeled 44 represents the next interval, or the first “real” interval from the table, and contains four scores. This reasoning is followed for each of the remaining intervals with the point 74 representing the interval from 71.5 to 76.5. Again, this interval contains no data and is only used so that the graph will touch the x-axis. Looking at the graph, we say that this distribution is skewed because one side of the graph does not mirror the other side.
.
Figure \(\PageIndex{5}\).
Frequency polygons are useful for comparing distributions. This is achieved by overlaying the frequency polygons drawn for different data sets.
Example \(\PageIndex{5}\)
We will construct an overlay frequency polygon comparing the scores from Example with the students’ final numeric grade.
Lower Bound | Upper Bound | Frequency | Cumulative Frequency |
---|---|---|---|
49.5 | 59.5 | 5 | 5 |
59.5 | 69.5 | 10 | 15 |
69.5 | 79.5 | 30 | 45 |
79.5 | 89.5 | 40 | 85 |
89.5 | 99.5 | 15 | 100 |
Lower Bound | Upper Bound | Frequency | Cumulative Frequency |
---|---|---|---|
49.5 | 59.5 | 10 | 10 |
59.5 | 69.5 | 10 | 20 |
69.5 | 79.5 | 30 | 50 |
79.5 | 89.5 | 45 | 95 |
89.5 | 99.5 | 5 | 100 |
Suppose that we want to study the temperature range of a region for an entire month. Every day at noon we note the temperature and write this down in a log. A variety of statistical studies could be done with this data. We could find the mean or the median temperature for the month. We could construct a histogram displaying the number of days that temperatures reach a certain range of values. However, all of these methods ignore a portion of the data that we have collected.
One feature of the data that we may want to consider is that of time. Since each date is paired with the temperature reading for the day, we don‘t have to think of the data as being random. We can instead use the times given to impose a chronological order on the data. A graph that recognizes this ordering and displays the changing temperature as the month progresses is called a time series graph.
Constructing a Time Series Graph
To construct a time series graph, we must look at both pieces of our paired data set. We start with a standard Cartesian coordinate system. The horizontal axis is used to plot the date or time increments, and the vertical axis is used to plot the values of the variable that we are measuring. By doing this, we make each point on the graph correspond to a date and a measured quantity. The points on the graph are typically connected by straight lines in the order in which they occur.
Example \(\PageIndex{6}\)
The following data shows the Annual Consumer Price Index, each month, for ten years. Construct a time series graph for the Annual Consumer Price Index data only.
Year | Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul |
---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
2003 | 181.7 | 183.1 | 184.2 | 183.8 | 183.5 | 183.7 | 183.9 |
2004 | 185.2 | 186.2 | 187.4 | 188.0 | 189.1 | 189.7 | 189.4 |
2005 | 190.7 | 191.8 | 193.3 | 194.6 | 194.4 | 194.5 | 195.4 |
2006 | 198.3 | 198.7 | 199.8 | 201.5 | 202.5 | 202.9 | 203.5 |
2007 | 202.416 | 203.499 | 205.352 | 206.686 | 207.949 | 208.352 | 208.299 |
2008 | 211.080 | 211.693 | 213.528 | 214.823 | 216.632 | 218.815 | 219.964 |
2009 | 211.143 | 212.193 | 212.709 | 213.240 | 213.856 | 215.693 | 215.351 |
2010 | 216.687 | 216.741 | 217.631 | 218.009 | 218.178 | 217.965 | 218.011 |
2011 | 220.223 | 221.309 | 223.467 | 224.906 | 225.964 | 225.722 | 225.922 |
2012 | 226.665 | 227.663 | 229.392 | 230.085 | 229.815 | 229.478 | 229.104 |
Year | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec | Annual |
---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
2003 | 184.6 | 185.2 | 185.0 | 184.5 | 184.3 | 184.0 |
2004 | 189.5 | 189.9 | 190.9 | 191.0 | 190.3 | 188.9 |
2005 | 196.4 | 198.8 | 199.2 | 197.6 | 196.8 | 195.3 |
2006 | 203.9 | 202.9 | 201.8 | 201.5 | 201.8 | 201.6 |
2007 | 207.917 | 208.490 | 208.936 | 210.177 | 210.036 | 207.342 |
2008 | 219.086 | 218.783 | 216.573 | 212.425 | 210.228 | 215.303 |
2009 | 215.834 | 215.969 | 216.177 | 216.330 | 215.949 | 214.537 |
2010 | 218.312 | 218.439 | 218.711 | 218.803 | 219.179 | 218.056 |
2011 | 226.545 | 226.889 | 226.421 | 226.230 | 225.672 | 224.939 |
2012 | 230.379 | 231.407 | 231.317 | 230.221 | 229.601 | 229.594 |
Answer
Exercise \(\PageIndex{5}\)
The following table is a portion of a data set from www.worldbank.org. Use the table to construct a time series graph for CO_{2} emissions for the United States.
Ukraine | United Kingdom | United States | |
---|---|---|---|
2003 | 352,259 | 540,640 | 5,681,664 |
2004 | 343,121 | 540,409 | 5,790,761 |
2005 | 339,029 | 541,990 | 5,826,394 |
2006 | 327,797 | 542,045 | 5,737,615 |
2007 | 328,357 | 528,631 | 5,828,697 |
2008 | 323,657 | 522,247 | 5,656,839 |
2009 | 272,176 | 474,579 | 5,299,563 |
Uses of a Time Series Graph
Time series graphs are important tools in various applications of statistics. When recording values of the same variable over an extended period of time, sometimes it is difficult to discern any trend or pattern. However, once the same data points are displayed graphically, some features jump out. Time series graphs make trends easy to spot.
Review
A histogram is a graphic version of a frequency distribution. The graph consists of bars of equal width drawn adjacent to each other. The horizontal scale represents classes of quantitative data values and the vertical scale represents frequencies. The heights of the bars correspond to frequency values. Histograms are typically used for large, continuous, quantitative data sets. A frequency polygon can be used instead of a histogram when graphing large data sets with data points that repeat. The data usually goes on x-axis with the frequency being graphed on the y-axis. Time series graphs can be helpful when looking at large amounts of data for one variable over a period of time.
References
- Data on annual homicides in Detroit, 1961–73, from Gunst & Mason’s book ‘Regression Analysis and its Application’, Marcel Dekker
- “Timeline: Guide to the U.S. Presidents: Information on every president’s birthplace, political party, term of office, and more.” Scholastic, 2013. Available online at www.scholastic.com/teachers/a...-us-presidents (accessed April 3, 2013).
- “Presidents.” Fact Monster. Pearson Education, 2007. Available online at http://www.factmonster.com/ipka/A0194030.html (accessed April 3, 2013).
- “Food Security Statistics.” Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Available online at http://www.fao.org/economic/ess/ess-fs/en/ (accessed April 3, 2013).
- “Consumer Price Index.” United States Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics. Available online at http://data.bls.gov/pdq/SurveyOutputServlet (accessed April 3, 2013).
- “CO2 emissions (kt).” The World Bank, 2013. Available online at http://databank.worldbank.org/data/home.aspx (accessed April 3, 2013).
- “Births Time Series Data.” General Register Office For Scotland, 2013. Available online at www.gro-scotland.gov.uk/stati...me-series.html (accessed April 3, 2013).
- “Demographics: Children under the age of 5 years underweight.” Indexmundi. Available online at http://www.indexmundi.com/g/r.aspx?t=50&v=2224&aml=en (accessed April 3, 2013).
- Gunst, Richard, Robert Mason. Regression Analysis and Its Application: A Data-Oriented Approach. CRC Press: 1980.
- “Overweight and Obesity: Adult Obesity Facts.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Available online at http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html (accessed September 13, 2013).
- Frequency
- the number of times a value of the data occurs
- Histogram
- a graphical representation in \(x-y\) form of the distribution of data in a data set; \(x\) represents the data and \(y\) represents the frequency, or relative frequency. The graph consists of contiguous rectangles.
- Relative Frequency
- the ratio of the number of times a value of the data occurs in the set of all outcomes to the number of all outcomes
Contributors and Attributions
Barbara Illowsky and Susan Dean (De Anza College) with many other contributing authors. Content produced by OpenStax College is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 license. Download for free at http://cnx.org/contents/30189442-699...b91b9de@18.114.