A graphical toolkit for visualization
Protovis

# Q-Q Plots

Quantile-Quantile plots (or simply Q-Q plots) compare two probability distributions by graphing their quantiles against each other. If the two are similar, the plotted values will roughly lie along the central diagonal. If the two are linearly related, values will again lie along a line, though with varying slope and intercept.

This example shows Mechanical Turk participation data compared to three statistical distributions. Note how the data forms three distinct components when compared to uniform and normal (Gaussian) distributions: this suggests that a statistical model with three components might be more appropriate, and indeed we see in the final plot that a fitted mixture of three normal distributions provides a better fit.

Next: Box-and-Whisker Plots

### Source

```<html>
<title>Q-Q Plot</title>
<script type="text/javascript" src="../protovis-r3.2.js"></script>
<script type="text/javascript" src="turkers.js"></script>
<style type="text/css">

#fig {
width: 900px;
height: 300px;
}

.label {
font-size: 13px;
}

</style>
<body><div id="center"><div id="fig">
<script type="text/javascript+protovis">

/** Sample from a normal distribution with mean 0, stddev 1. */
function normal_sample() {
var x = 0, y = 0, rds, c;
do {
x = Math.random() * 2 - 1;
y = Math.random() * 2 - 1;
rds = x * x + y * y;
} while (rds == 0 || rds > 1);
c = Math.sqrt(-2 * Math.log(rds) / rds); // Box-Muller transform
return x * c; // throw away extra sample y * c
}

// Uniform random distribution
var uniform = function() { return Math.random(); };
uniform.label = "Uniform Distribution";

// Simple 1D Gaussian (normal) distribution
var avg = pv.mean(turkers.percent.values);
var dev = pv.deviation(turkers.percent.values);
var normal1 = function() { return avg + dev * normal_sample(); }
normal1.label = "Gaussian (Normal) Distribution";

// Gaussian Mixture Model (k=3) fit using E-M algorithm
var normal3 = function() {
var dd = [
[0.10306430789206111, 0.0036139086950272735, 0.30498647327844536],
[0.5924252668569606, 0.0462763685758622, 0.4340870312025223],
[0.9847627827855167, 2.352350767874714E-4, 0.2609264955190324]],
r = Math.random(),
i = r < dd[0][2] ? 0 : r < dd[0][2] + dd[1][2] ? 1 : 2,
d = dd[i];
return d[0] + Math.sqrt(d[1]) * normal_sample();
}
normal3.label = "Mixture of 3 Gaussians";

/* Distributions for comparison. */
var dists = [uniform, normal1, normal3];

/* Compute quantiles of a distribution. */
function quantile(n, values) {
values = values.slice().sort(function(a, b) a - b);
return pv.range(n).map(function(i) values[Math.floor(i * (values.length - 1) / n)]);
}

/* Lookup the value for an input quantile. */
function qi(f, quantiles) {
return quantiles[Math.round(f*(quantiles.length-1))];
}

/* Helpers for labeling 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc. */
var suffixMap = {1:"st", 2:"nd", 3:"rd"};
var suffix = function(d) suffixMap[Math.floor(d) % 10] || "th";
var percent = function(d) (100 * d).toFixed(0);

/* Parameters and scales. */
var w = 270,
h = 270,
p = 10,
q2 = quantile(100, turkers.percent.values),
x = pv.Scale.linear(-0.5, 1.5).range(0, w),
y = pv.Scale.linear(-0.5, 1.5).range(0, h);

/* The root panel. */
var vis = new pv.Panel()
.margin(5)
.bottom(20)
.left(50)
.width((w + p) * dists.length - p)
.height(h);

/* The Q-Q plot panel. */
.data(dists.map(function(d) quantile(100, pv.range(0, 10000).map(d))))
.left(function() this.index * (w + p))
.width(w)
.strokeStyle("#ccc");

/* Plot diagonal. */
.data([0, 1])
.left(function(d) w * d)
.bottom(function(d) h * d)
.strokeStyle("#000")
.lineWidth(1);

/* Y-axis label. */
.left(-35)
.top(h / 2)
.textAlign("center")
.textAngle(-Math.PI / 2)
.font("bold 11px sans-serif");

/* X-axis ticks and labels. */
.data(pv.range(0, 1.1, 0.5))
.left(x)
.bottom(-5)
.size(5)
.shape("tick")
.strokeStyle("#999")
.text(percent);

/* Y-axis ticks and labels. */
.data(pv.range(0, 1.1, 0.5))
.bottom(x)
.left(-5)
.size(5)
.shape("tick")
.angle(Math.PI/2)
.strokeStyle("#999")
.visible(function() !this.parent.index)
.text(percent);

/* Data points by quantiles. */
.data(pv.range(0.01, 1.0, 0.01))
.left(function(f, q1) x(qi(f, q1)))
.bottom(function(f) y(qi(f, q2)))
.fillStyle(function() this.strokeStyle().alpha(.2))
.title(function(f, q1) (100 * f).toFixed(0) + suffix(100 * f)
+ " Percentile: " + qi(f, q1).toFixed(2)
+ ", " + qi(f, q2).toFixed(2));

/* Plot label. */
.textMargin(6)
.textBaseline("top")
.font("bold 10px sans-serif")
.text(function() dists[this.parent.index].label);

vis.render();

</script>
</div></div></body>
</html>
```

### Data

```var turkers = {
percent: {
minValue: 0.009259259,
maxValue: 1,
values: [
0.009259259, 0.014285714, 0.014285714, 0.016666667,
0.016666667, 0.017857143, 0.018518519, 0.027777778,
0.028571429, 0.028571429, 0.028571429, 0.033333333,
0.033333333, 0.035714286, 0.0375, 0.041666667,
0.041666667, 0.041666667, 0.041666667, 0.042857143,
0.042857143, 0.042857143, 0.05, 0.055555556,
0.069444444, 0.083333333, 0.083333333, 0.083333333,
0.083333333, 0.083333333, 0.083333333, 0.085714286,
0.1, 0.1, 0.101851852, 0.104166667,
0.111111111, 0.111111111, 0.114285714, 0.114285714,
0.116666667, 0.12037037, 0.125, 0.125,
0.128571429, 0.133333333, 0.138888889, 0.141666667,
0.142857143, 0.142857143, 0.15, 0.152777778, 0.158333333,
0.166666667, 0.171428571, 0.183333333, 0.185714286,
0.185714286, 0.1875, 0.190140845, 0.194444444,
0.2, 0.204545455, 0.208333333, 0.214285714,
0.214285714, 0.253521127, 0.271428571, 0.277777778,
0.291666667, 0.3, 0.3, 0.307017544,
0.324074074, 0.328571429, 0.333333333, 0.333333333,
0.342857143, 0.357142857, 0.358333333, 0.378787879,
0.381355932, 0.395833333, 0.4, 0.414285714,
0.414285714, 0.414285714, 0.414285714, 0.43,
0.433333333, 0.4375, 0.445833333, 0.450704225,
0.453333333, 0.458333333, 0.466666667, 0.476666667,
0.494736842, 0.5, 0.516666667, 0.533333333,
0.55, 0.557142857, 0.56884058, 0.569444444,
0.571428571, 0.585714286, 0.61, 0.622222222,
0.657407407, 0.666666667, 0.678947368, 0.685714286,
0.685714286, 0.69047619, 0.7, 0.7,
0.7, 0.711538462, 0.763888889, 0.771428571,
0.788888889, 0.8, 0.8, 0.808333333,
0.824712644, 0.828571429, 0.836842105, 0.839285714,
0.839285714, 0.84, 0.842857143, 0.842857143,
0.842857143, 0.85, 0.859649123, 0.869791667,
0.871428571, 0.871428571, 0.892344498, 0.914285714,
0.928571429, 0.933908046, 0.953703704, 0.973684211,
0.975, 0.981481481, 0.983333333, 0.985714286,
0.985714286, 0.985714286, 0.985714286, 0.985714286,
0.985714286, 0.985714286, 0.985714286, 0.985714286,
0.985714286, 0.985714286, 0.985714286, 0.985714286,
0.985714286, 0.987096774, 0.990740741, 0.991666667,
0.992, 0.994047619, 0.996666667, 1,
1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1
]
}
};
```