The lattice add-on package is an implementation of Trellis graphics for R. It is a powerful and elegant high-level data visualization system with an emphasis on multivariate data. It is designed to meet most typical graphics needs with minimal tuning, but can also be easily extended to handle most nonstandard requirements.
Trellis Graphics, originally developed for S and S-PLUS at the Bell Labs, is a framework for data visualization developed by R. A. Becker, W. S. Cleveland, et al, extending ideas presented in Cleveland's 1993 book Visualizing Data. The Lattice API is based on the original design in S, but extends it in many ways.
The Lattice user interface primarily consists of several
‘high-level’ generic functions (listed below in the “See
Also” section), each designed to create a particular type of display
by default. Although the functions produce different output, they
share many common features, reflected in several common arguments that
affect the resulting displays in similar ways. These arguments are
extensively (sometimes only) documented in the help page for
xyplot, which also includes a discussion of the
important topics of conditioning and control of the Trellis
layout. Features specific to other high-level functions are
documented in their respective help pages.
Lattice employs an extensive system of user-controllable settings to
determine the look and feel of the displays it produces. To learn how
to use and customize the graphical parameters used by lattice, see
trellis.par.set. For other settings, see
lattice.options. The default graphical settings are
(potentially) different for different graphical devices. To learn how
to initialize new devices with the desired settings or change the
settings of the current device, see
It is usually unnecessary, but sometimes important to be able to plot
multiple lattice plots on a single page. Such capabilities are
described in the
print.trellis help page. See
update.trellis to learn about manipulating a
"trellis" object. Tools to augment lattice plots after they
are drawn (including
locator-like functionality) are
described in the
trellis.focus help page.
The online documentation accompanying the package is complete, and effort has been made to present the help pages in a logical sequence, so that one can learn how to use lattice by reading the PDF reference manual available at https://cran.r-project.org/package=lattice. However, the format in which the online documentation is written and the breadth of topics covered necessarily makes it somewhat terse and less than ideal as a first introduction. For a more gentle introduction, a book on lattice is available as part of Springer's ‘Use R’ series; see the “References” section below.
High-level lattice functions like
different from traditional R graphics functions in that they do not
perform any plotting themselves. Instead, they return an object, of
"trellis", which has to be then
plot-ted to create the actual
plot. Due to R's automatic printing rule, it is usually not
necessary to explicitly carry out the second step, and lattice
functions appear to behave like their traditional counterparts.
However, the automatic plotting is suppressed when the high-level
functions are called inside another function (most often
source) or in other contexts where automatic printing is
while loops). In
such situations, an explicit call to
The lattice package is based on the Grid graphics engine and
requires the grid add-on package. One consquence of this is
that it is not (readily) compatible with traditional R graphics
tools. In particular, changing
par() settings usually has no
effect on Lattice plots; lattice provides its own interface for
querying and modifying an extensive set of graphical and non-graphical
Deepayan Sarkar [email protected]
Sarkar, Deepayan (2008) Lattice: Multivariate Data Visualization with R, Springer. ISBN: 978-0-387-75968-5 http://lmdvr.r-forge.r-project.org/
Cleveland, William .S. (1993) Visualizing Data, Hobart Press, Summit, New Jersey.
Becker, R. A. and Cleveland, W. S. and Shyu, M. J. (1996). “The Visual Design and Control of Trellis Display”, Journal of Computational and Graphical Statistics, 5(2), 123–155.
Bell Lab's Trellis Page contains several documents outlining the use of Trellis graphics; these provide a holistic introduction to the Trellis paradigm: http://ect.bell-labs.com/sl/project/trellis/
The following is a list of high-level functions in the lattice
package and their default displays. In all cases, the actual display
is produced by the so-called “panel” function, which has a
suitable default, but can be substituted by an user defined function
to create customized displays. In many cases, the default panel
function will itself have many optional arguments to customize its
output. The default panel functions are named as
panel.” followed by the name of the corresponding
high-level function; i.e., the default panel function for
panel.xyplot, the one for
panel.histogram, etc. Each
default panel function has a separate help page, linked from the help
pages of the corresponding high-level function. Although documented
separately, arguments to these panel functions can be supplied
directly to the high-level functions, which will pass on the arguments
Kernel density estimates.
Cleveland dot plots.
Theretical quantile plots.
Quantile plots for comparing two distributions.
Scatterplots and time-series plots (and potentially a lot more).
Level plots (similar to
Three-dimensional scatter plots.
Three-dimensional surface plots (similar to
Parallel coordinate plots.
Residual and fitted value plots (also see
Tukey Mean-Difference plots.
In addition, there are several panel functions that do little by
themselves, but can be useful components of custom panel functions.
These are documented in
panel.functions. Lattice also
provides a collection of convenience functions that correspond to the
traditional graphics primitives
points, etc. These are implemented using Grid graphics,
but try to be as close to the traditional versions as possible in
terms of their argument list. These functions have names like
panel.lines and are often useful
when writing (or porting from S-PLUS code) nontrivial panel functions.
Finally, many useful enhancements that extend the Lattice system are available in the latticeExtra package.
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