Is there a matlab plot of stacked circles to illustrate probability of outcomes/events?

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I can't figure out the name of this type of plot, but it's occaisionally used to illustrate the probability of a number an event occurring.
2020 Election Forecast | FiveThirtyEight (scroll to the plot showing the election simulation forecast outcomes).
Does MATLAB (or Mathwork Exchange) support a plot similar to this, where the events are symbolized as balls that appear to be stacked on one another?

Antworten (1)

John D'Errico
John D'Errico am 9 Dez. 2020
Bearbeitet: John D'Errico am 9 Dez. 2020
You could create one. Would it be difficult? No. But to be honest, I would see that plot as a superb way to lie with statistics. Why? The very fact that it was used for election results brings up the idea that those who use such a plot MIGHT be tempted to misuse that same plot.
If you want it to appear as if one side is has more weight than the other, then just make the circles on one side have a TINY bit more area for each circle. Nobody is going to see a 1% difference in radius. But a 1% difference in radius equates to a 4% difference in area, which might be more than the difference between the two competitors. So if one side was ahead by 52-48%, then you could easily make it look as if it swings the OTHER way, 52-48%.
Other ways of creatively using such a plot to lie? See that the circles are not packed perfectly tightly, nor uniformly. So on one side, just pack the same circles slightly less tightly. And that will make it appear as if they take up more area - Voila! The wrong side appears to have won.
Other tricks you might choose to ply with such a plot? Make one fill color a very light one. Perhaps yellow is a good choice. Make the other color darker, denser. On a white background, people may perceive the relative weights differently. I'll bet I could come up with other ways to confuse the reader.
So while for a case where the differential is huge, then any plot you make will be clear. But if they are close and you want to lie, AND you are willing to tamper with reality? Then use this kind of plot.
Sorry, but I just think it to be a bad idea in general.


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