matplotlib: Group boxplots


Is there a way to group boxplots in matplotlib?

Assume we have three groups "A", "B", and "C" and for each we want to create a boxplot for both "apples" and "oranges". If a grouping is not possible directly, we can create all six combinations and place them linearly side by side. What would be to simplest way to visualize the groupings? I'm trying to avoid setting the tick labels to something like "A + apples" since my scenario involves much longer names than "A".

9/30/2015 2:18:12 PM

Accepted Answer

How about using colors to differentiate between "apples" and "oranges" and spacing to separate "A", "B" and "C"?

Something like this:

from pylab import plot, show, savefig, xlim, figure, \
                hold, ylim, legend, boxplot, setp, axes

# function for setting the colors of the box plots pairs
def setBoxColors(bp):
    setp(bp['boxes'][0], color='blue')
    setp(bp['caps'][0], color='blue')
    setp(bp['caps'][1], color='blue')
    setp(bp['whiskers'][0], color='blue')
    setp(bp['whiskers'][1], color='blue')
    setp(bp['fliers'][0], color='blue')
    setp(bp['fliers'][1], color='blue')
    setp(bp['medians'][0], color='blue')

    setp(bp['boxes'][1], color='red')
    setp(bp['caps'][2], color='red')
    setp(bp['caps'][3], color='red')
    setp(bp['whiskers'][2], color='red')
    setp(bp['whiskers'][3], color='red')
    setp(bp['fliers'][2], color='red')
    setp(bp['fliers'][3], color='red')
    setp(bp['medians'][1], color='red')

# Some fake data to plot
A= [[1, 2, 5,],  [7, 2]]
B = [[5, 7, 2, 2, 5], [7, 2, 5]]
C = [[3,2,5,7], [6, 7, 3]]

fig = figure()
ax = axes()

# first boxplot pair
bp = boxplot(A, positions = [1, 2], widths = 0.6)

# second boxplot pair
bp = boxplot(B, positions = [4, 5], widths = 0.6)

# thrid boxplot pair
bp = boxplot(C, positions = [7, 8], widths = 0.6)

# set axes limits and labels
ax.set_xticklabels(['A', 'B', 'C'])
ax.set_xticks([1.5, 4.5, 7.5])

# draw temporary red and blue lines and use them to create a legend
hB, = plot([1,1],'b-')
hR, = plot([1,1],'r-')
legend((hB, hR),('Apples', 'Oranges'))


grouped box plot

7/7/2016 12:48:46 PM

Here is my version. It stores data based on categories.

import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
import numpy as np

data_a = [[1,2,5], [5,7,2,2,5], [7,2,5]]
data_b = [[6,4,2], [1,2,5,3,2], [2,3,5,1]]

ticks = ['A', 'B', 'C']

def set_box_color(bp, color):
    plt.setp(bp['boxes'], color=color)
    plt.setp(bp['whiskers'], color=color)
    plt.setp(bp['caps'], color=color)
    plt.setp(bp['medians'], color=color)


bpl = plt.boxplot(data_a, positions=np.array(xrange(len(data_a)))*2.0-0.4, sym='', widths=0.6)
bpr = plt.boxplot(data_b, positions=np.array(xrange(len(data_b)))*2.0+0.4, sym='', widths=0.6)
set_box_color(bpl, '#D7191C') # colors are from
set_box_color(bpr, '#2C7BB6')

# draw temporary red and blue lines and use them to create a legend
plt.plot([], c='#D7191C', label='Apples')
plt.plot([], c='#2C7BB6', label='Oranges')

plt.xticks(xrange(0, len(ticks) * 2, 2), ticks)
plt.xlim(-2, len(ticks)*2)
plt.ylim(0, 8)

I am short of reputation so I cannot post an image to here. You can run it and see the result. Basically it's very similar to what Molly did.

Note that, depending on the version of python you are using, you may need to replace xrange with range

Result of this code

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