[Numpy-discussion] Automatic number of bins for numpy histograms

Benjamin Root ben.root at ou.edu
Wed Apr 15 11:24:36 EDT 2015

"Then you can set about convincing matplotlib and friends to
use it by default"

Just to note, this proposal was originally made over in the matplotlib
project. We sent it over here where its benefits would have wider reach.
Matplotlib's plan is not to change the defaults, but to offload as much as
possible to numpy so that it can support these new features if they are
available. We might need to do some input validation so that users running
older version of numpy can get a sensible error message.

Ben Root

On Tue, Apr 14, 2015 at 7:12 PM, Nathaniel Smith <njs at pobox.com> wrote:

> On Mon, Apr 13, 2015 at 8:02 AM, Neil Girdhar <mistersheik at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> > Can I suggest that we instead add the P-square algorithm for the dynamic
> > calculation of histograms?
> > (
> http://pierrechainais.ec-lille.fr/Centrale/Option_DAD/IMPACT_files/Dynamic%20quantiles%20calcultation%20-%20P2%20Algorythm.pdf
> )
> >
> > This is already implemented in C++'s boost library
> > (
> http://www.boost.org/doc/libs/1_44_0/boost/accumulators/statistics/extended_p_square.hpp
> )
> >
> > I implemented it in Boost Python as a module, which I'm happy to share.
> > This is much better than fixed-width histograms in practice.  Rather than
> > adjusting the number of bins, it adjusts what you really want, which is
> the
> > resolution of the bins throughout the domain.
> This definitely sounds like a useful thing to have in numpy or scipy
> (though if it's possible to do without using Boost/C++ that would be
> nice). But yeah, we should leave the existing histogram alone (in this
> regard) and add a new name for this like "adaptive_histogram" or
> something. Then you can set about convincing matplotlib and friends to
> use it by default :-)
> -n
> --
> Nathaniel J. Smith -- http://vorpus.org
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