Terrible graphs

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Stephanie
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Terrible graphs

Post by Stephanie » Mon Apr 27, 2020 5:40 pm

This one, via The Conversation, is... something
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Re: Terrible graphs

Post by Woodchopper » Mon Apr 27, 2020 5:47 pm

That must have taken a long time.

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Re: Terrible graphs

Post by Bird on a Fire » Mon Apr 27, 2020 6:13 pm

I think that's quite an effective way of showing the looping effect they're talking about in the article, actually. Though it's certainly not very pretty or intuitive.
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Re: Terrible graphs

Post by jimbob » Mon Apr 27, 2020 8:30 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Mon Apr 27, 2020 6:13 pm
I think that's quite an effective way of showing the looping effect they're talking about in the article, actually. Though it's certainly not very pretty or intuitive.
It reminds me of a phone conversation with a colleague on my walk last week, when he was wondering what a graph of total cases vs hospital admissions vs deaths would look like.

I don't know if he's actually been plotting that.
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Re: Terrible graphs

Post by jaap » Tue Apr 28, 2020 6:44 am

Wouldn't any measurement with regular fluctuations show the same loops?
It's basically plotting a sine wave against its derivative, a cosine wave, which gives you a circle. And the only reason it is like a sine wave is because it's using rolling averages to smooth out the fluctuations so that they are more wave-like.
It doesn't really tell you anything particularly interesting, except may that there are weekly fluctuations due to weekends.

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Re: Terrible graphs

Post by Martin Y » Tue Apr 28, 2020 8:16 am

jaap wrote:
Tue Apr 28, 2020 6:44 am
Wouldn't any measurement with regular fluctuations show the same loops?
It's basically plotting a sine wave against its derivative, a cosine wave, which gives you a circle. And the only reason it is like a sine wave is because it's using rolling averages to smooth out the fluctuations so that they are more wave-like.
It doesn't really tell you anything particularly interesting, except may that there are weekly fluctuations due to weekends.
That's a very good point.

I had been staring at it and wondering what useful information could be gleaned at a glance from its bold spirals. The answer appears to be almost none. Thanks.

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Re: Terrible graphs

Post by Herainestold » Tue Apr 28, 2020 2:03 pm

It does look cool, though.

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Re: Terrible graphs

Post by Stephanie » Tue Apr 28, 2020 7:21 pm

Aww, I feel mean now
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Re: Terrible graphs

Post by Martin_B » Wed Apr 29, 2020 2:00 am

Stephanie wrote:
Tue Apr 28, 2020 7:21 pm
Aww, I feel mean now
Don't feel mean - it's a terrible graph and they should be able to show the information in a less confusing manner
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Re: Terrible graphs

Post by Allo V Psycho » Wed May 06, 2020 5:26 pm

This came from the White House's Council of economic advisers. On Twitter https://twitter.com/WhiteHouseCEA
They say "To better visualize observed data, we also continually update a curve-fitting exercise to summarize COVID-19's observed trajectory. Particularly with irregular data, curve fitting can improve data visualization. As shown, IHME's mortality curves have matched the data fairly well."

I laughed out loud - did they use 'Add Trend Line' in Excel, and choose a cubic? :lol:

The cubic is the one that predicts zero deaths in 9 days time.

And what kind of curve fitting exercise gives the green line from the black one?

Plus, was that graph really drawn by hand using coloured sharpies, or is there a programme that makes your graphs look more user friendly, by making them more crap? I did think of posting this in Pandemic Jokes, but then, it ain't that funny.
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Re: Terrible graphs

Post by shpalman » Wed May 06, 2020 5:42 pm

Allo V Psycho wrote:
Wed May 06, 2020 5:26 pm
This came from the White House's Council of economic advisers. On Twitter https://twitter.com/WhiteHouseCEA
They say "To better visualize observed data, we also continually update a curve-fitting exercise to summarize COVID-19's observed trajectory. Particularly with irregular data, curve fitting can improve data visualization. As shown, IHME's mortality curves have matched the data fairly well."

I laughed out loud - did they use 'Add Trend Line' in Excel, and choose a cubic? :lol:

The cubic is the one that predicts zero deaths in 9 days time.

And what kind of curve fitting exercise gives the green line from the black one?

Plus, was that graph really drawn by hand using coloured sharpies, or is there a programme that makes your graphs look more user friendly, by making them more crap? I did think of posting this in Pandemic Jokes, but then, it ain't that funny.
I think we figured out that the "cubic model" was actually a cubic fit to the log of the data.

https://twitter.com/potatoffel/status/1 ... 09792?s=09

No scientific basis or predictive power whatsoever.

It does seem like the IHME predictions are massively sensitive to the data so might well be overfitting as compared to have a decent prior and/or maximizing the entropy.
molto tricky

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Re: Terrible graphs

Post by bolo » Wed May 06, 2020 7:52 pm

Last time I checked, a cubic goes to +infinity in one direction and -infinity in the other. Even if it's cubic in the logarithm, it can't go to zero in both directions. So if this is a cubic at all, the coefficient of the cubic term must be zero, so really it's a quadratic (in the log) which is ... I'm not sure, is it stupider or just equally stupid?

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Re: Terrible graphs

Post by basementer » Wed May 06, 2020 8:29 pm

bolo wrote:
Wed May 06, 2020 7:52 pm
Last time I checked, a cubic goes to +infinity in one direction and -infinity in the other. Even if it's cubic in the logarithm, it can't go to zero in both directions. So if this is a cubic at all, the coefficient of the cubic term must be zero, so really it's a quadratic (in the log) which is ... I'm not sure, is it stupider or just equally stupid?
I read it as the cubic fit range is only the dashed line, and they've projected it (dotted line) using an unspecified different method because they know the cubic itself generates nonsense. Maybe.
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Re: Terrible graphs

Post by shpalman » Wed May 06, 2020 9:03 pm

bolo wrote:
Wed May 06, 2020 7:52 pm
Last time I checked, a cubic goes to +infinity in one direction and -infinity in the other. Even if it's cubic in the logarithm, it can't go to zero in both directions. So if this is a cubic at all, the coefficient of the cubic term must be zero, so really it's a quadratic (in the log) which is ... I'm not sure, is it stupider or just equally stupid?
Well it does look like a Gaussian, which is what you would get if you took the log of the data and fit a quadratic to it (given that the second derivative is negative) and then exponented it back.
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Re: Terrible graphs

Post by jimbob » Wed May 06, 2020 9:14 pm

bolo wrote:
Wed May 06, 2020 7:52 pm
Last time I checked, a cubic goes to +infinity in one direction and -infinity in the other. Even if it's cubic in the logarithm, it can't go to zero in both directions. So if this is a cubic at all, the coefficient of the cubic term must be zero, so really it's a quadratic (in the log) which is ... I'm not sure, is it stupider or just equally stupid?
Kevin Hansett talked about the cubic model. And we're discussing someone who has form in economics, with an absolutely barking Laffer curve, which I might dig out later.
[ETA: https://www.discovermagazine.com/the-sc ... tting-ever ]
And it only needs to have a turning point at the future zero for a dishonest/incompetent person to then take that zero gradient as all time future.

I don't know which he fails on, but he's certainly not both capable and honest - given his work I'm going for neither.
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Re: Terrible graphs

Post by basementer » Wed May 06, 2020 11:56 pm

jimbob wrote:
Wed May 06, 2020 9:14 pm
bolo wrote:
Wed May 06, 2020 7:52 pm
Last time I checked, a cubic goes to +infinity in one direction and -infinity in the other. Even if it's cubic in the logarithm, it can't go to zero in both directions. So if this is a cubic at all, the coefficient of the cubic term must be zero, so really it's a quadratic (in the log) which is ... I'm not sure, is it stupider or just equally stupid?
Kevin Hansett talked about the cubic model. And we're discussing someone who has form in economics, with an absolutely barking Laffer curve, which I might dig out later.
[ETA: https://www.discovermagazine.com/the-sc ... tting-ever ]
And it only needs to have a turning point at the future zero for a dishonest/incompetent person to then take that zero gradient as all time future.

I don't know which he fails on, but he's certainly not both capable and honest - given his work I'm going for neither.
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Re: Terrible graphs

Post by Allo V Psycho » Thu May 07, 2020 5:56 am

shpalman wrote:
Wed May 06, 2020 5:42 pm
Allo V Psycho wrote:
Wed May 06, 2020 5:26 pm
This came from the White House's Council of economic advisers. On Twitter https://twitter.com/WhiteHouseCEA
They say "To better visualize observed data, we also continually update a curve-fitting exercise to summarize COVID-19's observed trajectory. Particularly with irregular data, curve fitting can improve data visualization. As shown, IHME's mortality curves have matched the data fairly well."

I laughed out loud - did they use 'Add Trend Line' in Excel, and choose a cubic? :lol:

The cubic is the one that predicts zero deaths in 9 days time.

And what kind of curve fitting exercise gives the green line from the black one?

Plus, was that graph really drawn by hand using coloured sharpies, or is there a programme that makes your graphs look more user friendly, by making them more crap? I did think of posting this in Pandemic Jokes, but then, it ain't that funny.
I think we figured out that the "cubic model" was actually a cubic fit to the log of the data.

https://twitter.com/potatoffel/status/1 ... 09792?s=09

No scientific basis or predictive power whatsoever.

It does seem like the IHME predictions are massively sensitive to the data so might well be overfitting as compared to have a decent prior and/or maximizing the entropy.
That Twitter link led me to this:
https://twitter.com/LevyAntoine/status/ ... 3221677057
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Re: Terrible graphs

Post by Allo V Psycho » Thu May 07, 2020 7:00 am

OK, I plotted their data as best as I could estimate it (in Excel, of course). Yes, I know I'm sad, but I don't start work till 8, so it is my own personal sadness.

Both log and ln give me a curve, but it's platykurtic compared to theirs: Closest I can get is to plot a cubic on the original data then match a gaussian to part of it.

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Re: Terrible graphs

Post by dyqik » Thu May 07, 2020 2:40 pm

Allo V Psycho wrote:
Thu May 07, 2020 7:00 am
OK, I plotted their data as best as I could estimate it (in Excel, of course). Yes, I know I'm sad, but I don't start work till 8, so it is my own personal sadness.

Both log and ln give me a curve, but it's platykurtic compared to theirs: Closest I can get is to plot a cubic on the original data then match a gaussian to part of it.
I think you have to pick the end points of the fit and projection carefully.

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Re: Terrible graphs

Post by Rich Scopie » Sat May 16, 2020 1:16 pm

Allo V Psycho wrote:
Wed May 06, 2020 5:26 pm
Plus, was that graph really drawn by hand using coloured sharpies, or is there a programme that makes your graphs look more user friendly, by making them more crap? I did think of posting this in Pandemic Jokes, but then, it ain't that funny.
It does appear to have been drawn using the graphical equivalent of Comic Sans...
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Re: Terrible graphs

Post by Holylol » Tue May 19, 2020 7:59 am


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Re: Terrible graphs

Post by jimbob » Tue May 19, 2020 5:50 pm

Holylol wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 7:59 am
A new one:
https://statmodeling.stat.columbia.edu/ ... his-graph/
It would be straightforward to get that in Excel, but you'd need to actually put in effort to get that - by sorting the data in descending order.

It would be very difficult to do that accidentally.
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Re: Terrible graphs

Post by Bird on a Fire » Tue May 19, 2020 6:25 pm

jimbob wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 5:50 pm
Holylol wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 7:59 am
A new one:
https://statmodeling.stat.columbia.edu/ ... his-graph/
It would be straightforward to get that in Excel, but you'd need to actually put in effort to get that - by sorting the data in descending order.

It would be very difficult to do that accidentally.
Although, somebody might make a graph, then sort the cells to look at the data, without realising that the graph would be automatically updated to the new order, and then not check it. Excel doesn't always handle dates well either.
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Re: Terrible graphs

Post by Martin_B » Wed May 20, 2020 9:15 am

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 6:25 pm
jimbob wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 5:50 pm
Holylol wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 7:59 am
A new one:
https://statmodeling.stat.columbia.edu/ ... his-graph/
It would be straightforward to get that in Excel, but you'd need to actually put in effort to get that - by sorting the data in descending order.

It would be very difficult to do that accidentally.
Although, somebody might make a graph, then sort the cells to look at the data, without realising that the graph would be automatically updated to the new order, and then not check it. Excel doesn't always handle dates well either.
Excel handles dates better than that, though. Again, it would require sorting the data into descending order and then plotting
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Re: Terrible graphs

Post by shpalman » Wed May 20, 2020 9:17 am

Unless something has recently changed a lot, only one class of charts in Excel is actually an x-y plot.
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