Data Management and Visualization

Clutter and confusion are failures of design, not attributes of information. – Edward Tufte

Introduction

This chapter aims at introducing you to key principles and methods for data processing, storage, exploration and visualization.

In this modern world, massive amounts of data are being generated in biology due to rapid advances in technologies for collecting new, as well as for digitizing old data. Some prominent examples are Genomic, Ecosystem respiration, Climatic, and Animal tracking data. Ultimately, the goal of quantitative biology is to both, discover patterns in these data, and fit mathematical models to them. Reproducible data manipulation, analyses and visualization are particularly necessary when data are so large and complex, and few are more so than biological data, which are extremely heterogeneous in their structure and quality. Furthermore, when these data are “big” (more below on what makes a dataset “big”), computationally-efficient data handling, manipulation and analysis techniques are needed.

Data wrangling

You are likely to spend far more time than you think dredging through data files manually – checking them, editing them, and reformatting them to make them useful for data exploration and analysis. It is often the case that you’ll have to deal with messy or incomplete data, either because of sampling challenges (e.g., “field” data), or because you got given data that was poorly recorded and maintained. The data we obtain from different data sources is often unusable at the beginning; for example you may need to:

  • Identify the variables vs observations within the data—somebody else might have recorded the data, or you youself might have collected the data some time back!

  • Fill in zeros (true measured or observed absences)

  • Identify and add a value (e.g., -999999) to denote missing observations

  • Derive or calculate new variables from the raw observations (e.g., convert measurements to SI units; kilograms, meters, seconds, etc.)

  • Reshape/reformat your data into a layout that works best for analysis (e.g., for R itself);e.g., from wide to long data format for replicated (across plates, chambers, plots, sites, etc.) data

  • Merge multiple datasets together into a single data sheet

This is not an exhaustive list. Doing so many different things to your raw data is both time-consuming and risky. Why risky? Because to err is very human, and every new, tired mouse-click and/or keyboard-stab has a high probability of inducing an erroneous data point!

image

(A (metaphorical) datum being wrangled into submission
Source: https://pathanruet.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/unix-tree.png)

Some data wrangling principles

So you would like a record of the data wrangling process (so that it is repeatable and even reversible), and automate it to the extent possible. To this end, here are some guidelines:

  • Store data in universally (machine)-readable, non-proprietary formats; basically, use plain ASCII text for your file names, variable/field/column names, and data values. And make sure the data file’s “text encoding” is correct and standard (e.g., UTF-8).

  • Keep a metadata file for each unique dataset (again, in non-proprietary format).

  • Minimize modifying raw data by hand—use scripts instead—keep a copy of the data as they were recorded.

  • Use meaningful names for your data and files and field (column) names

  • When you add data, try not to add columns (widening the format); rather, design your tables/data-sheets so that you add only rows (lengthening the format)—and convert “wide format data” to “long format data” using scripts, not by hand,

  • All cells within a data column should contain only one type of information (i.e., either text (character), numeric, etc.).

  • Ultimately, consider creating a relational database for your data (More on this below).

This is not an exhaustive list either— see the Readings & Resources Section.

We will use the Pound Hill dataset collected by students in a past Silwood Field Course for understanding some of these principles.

To start with, we need to import the raw data file, for which, follow these steps:

★ Copy the file PoundHillData.csv and PoundHillMetaData.csv files from TheMulQuaBio’s data directory into your own R week’s data directory. Then load the data in R:

MyData <- as.matrix(read.csv("../data/PoundHillData.csv",header = FALSE))
class(MyData)
  1. 'matrix'
  2. 'array'
  • Loading the data as.matrix(), and setting header=FALSE guarantees that the data are imported “as is” so that you can wrangle them. Otherwise read.csv will convert the first row to column headers.

  • All the data will be converted to the character class in the resulting matrix called MyData because at least one of the entries is already character class.

Note

As of R version 4.0.0 of R released in April 2020, the default for stringsAsFactors was changed to false If you are using R version 3.x.x, you will need to add stringsAsFactors = FALSE to the above command to prevent R from converting all columns of character type (strings) to the factor data type (this will create problems with subsequent data wrangling).

★ Now load the Metadata:

MyMetaData <- read.csv("../data/PoundHillMetaData.csv",header = TRUE,  sep=";")
class(MyMetaData)
'data.frame'
  • Here, header =TRUE because we do have metadata headers (FieldName andDescription), and

  • We have used semicolon (;) as delimiter because there are commas in one of the field descriptions.

  • We have avoided spaces in the columns headers (so “FieldName” instead of “Field Name”) — please avoid spaces in field or column names because R will replace each space in a column header with a dot, which may be confusing.

Tip

The text encoding of your data file: If you have a string (character data type) stored as a variable in your R workspace, or a file containing strings, the computer has to know what character encoding it is in or it cannot interpret or display it to you correctly. Usually, the encoding will be UTF-8 or ASCII, which is easily handled by most computer languages. Sometimes you may run into (unexpected) bugs when importing and running scripts in R because your file has a non-standard text encoding. You will need to specify the encoding in that case, using the encoding argument of read.csv() and read.table(). You can check the encoding of a file by using find in Linux/Mac. Try in your UNIX terminal:

file -i ../data/PoundHillData.csv

or, check encoding of all files in the Data directory:

file -i ../data/*.csv

Use file -I instead of file -i in a Mac terminal.

Now check out what the data look like:

head(MyData)
A matrix: 6 × 60 of type chr
V1V2V3V4V5V6V7V8V9V10V51V52V53V54V55V56V57V58V59V60
Cultivation octoberoctoberoctoberoctoberoctobermaymaymaymaymarchmarchmaymaymayoctoberoctoberoctoberoctoberoctober
Block a a a a a a a a a d d d d d d d d d d
Plot 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 10 10 12 12 12 11 11 11 11 11
Quadrat Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q5 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q5 Q6 Q1 Q2 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q5
Achillea millefolium4 8 3 20 6 4 4 10 12 6 5
Agrostis gigantea 15 19 80 33 14545 62 25 57 113 12

Note that column names V1-V60 were generated automatically by R when you imported the data

In RStudio you can also do view(MyData) at the R prompt or any other code editor, fix(MyData). We won’t do anything with the metadata file in this session except inspect the information it contains.

Now let’s implement some of the key data wrangling principles listed above on this dataset. You should keep a record of what you are doing to the data using a R script file. This is illustrated in the DataWrang.R script file.

★ Copy the script DataWrang.R into your own R training directory’s code directory and open it.

Go through the script carefully line by line, and make sure you understand what’s going on. Read the comments — add to them if you want.

OK, so onward with our data wrangling.

Keep a metadata file for each unique dataset

Data wrangling really begins immediately after data collection. You may collect data of different kinds (e.g., diversity, biomass, tree girth), etc. Keep the original spreadsheet well documented using a “metadata” file that describes the data (you would hopefully have written the first version of this even before you started collecting the data!). The minimum information needed to make a metadata file useful is a description of each of the fields — the column or row headers under which the information is stored in your data/spreadsheet.

Have a look at the metadata file for the Pound Hill dataset:

Tip

Boolean arguments in R: In R, you can use F and T for boolean FALSE and TRUE respectively. To see this, type

a <- T

in the R commandline, and then see what R returns when you type a. Using F and T for boolean FALSE and TRUE respectively is not necessarily good practice, but be aware that this option exists.


MyMetaData
A data.frame: 5 × 2
FieldNameDescription
<chr><chr>
Cultivation Cultivation treatments applied in three months: october, may, march
Block Treatment blocks ids: a-d
Plot Plot ids under each treatment : 1-12
Quadrat Sampling quadrats (25x50 cm each) per plot: Q1--Q6
SpeciesCount Number of individuals of species (count) per quadrat

Ideally, you would also like to add more information about the data, such as the measurement units of each type of observation. These data include just one type of observation: Number of individuals of species per sample (plot), which is a count (integer, or int data class).

Minimize modifying raw data by hand

When the dataset is large (e.g., 1000’s of rows), cleaning and exploring it can get tricky, and you are very likely to make many mistakes. You should record all the steps you used to process it with an R script rather than risking a manual and basically irreproducible processing. Most importantly, avoid or minimize editing your raw data file—make a copy (with a meaningful tag in the file name to indicate the date and author) before making hand edits.

All blank cells in the data are true absences, in the sense that species was actually not present in that quadrat. So we can replace those blanks with zeros:

MyData[MyData == ""] = 0

Convert wide format data to long format using scripts

One typically records data in the field or experiments using a “wide” format, where a subject’s (e.g., habitat, plot, treatment, species etc) repeated responses or observations (e.g., species count, biomass, etc) will be in a single row, and each response in a separate column. The raw Pound Hill data were recorded in this way. However, the wide format is not ideal for data analysis — instead you need the data in a “long” format, where each row is one observation point per subject. So each subject will have data in multiple rows. Any measures/variables/observations that don’t change across the subjects will have the same value in all the rows. For humans, the wide format is generally more intuitive for recording (e.g., in field data sheets) data. However, for data inspection and analysis, the long format is preferable for two main reasons:

  • If you have many response and/or treatment variables, it is hard to inspect the data values in a wide-form version of the dataset. In the case of the pound hill dataset, the response variable is species, and treatment variable is cultivation month (with sequentially nested replicates—block, plot, quadrat— within it), and the data values are the number (count) of individuals of each species per quadrat. As you can see, there are a a large number of columns (60 to be exact), with columns V2-V60 containing different treatment combinations. This makes it hard to visually see problems with the data values. You would have to look across all these columns to see any issues, or if you wanted to run a single command on all the data values (e.g., is.integer() to check if they are all integers, as you would expect), it would be harder to do so or interpret the output if all the species counts were in a single column.

  • Long-form datasets are typically required for statistical analysis and visualization packages or commands in R (or Python, for that matter). For example, if you wanted to fit a linear model using R’s lm() command, with treatment (cultivation month) as the independent variable, you would need to structure your data in long form. Similarly, and if you wanted to plot histograms of species numbers by treatment using ggplot (coming up), you would also need these data in long format.

OK, so let’s go from wide to long format already!

You can switch between wide and long formats using melt() and dcast() from the reshape2 package, as illustrated in the script DataWrang.R available at TheMulQuaBio repository. But first, let’s transpose the data, because for a long format, the (nested) treatments variables should be in rows:

MyData <- t(MyData) 
head(MyData)
A matrix: 6 × 45 of type chr
V1CultivationBlockPlotQuadratAchillea millefoliumAgrostis giganteaAnagallis arvensisAnchusa arvensisAnisantha sterilisAphanes australisSemecio jacobaeaSonchus asperSpergula arvensisStellaria gramineaTaraxacum officinaleTripleurospermum inodorum Veronica arvensisVeronica persicaViola arvensisVulpia myuros
V2october a 1 Q1 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 8 0 11 0 1 0 0
V3october a 1 Q2 8 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 4 0 1 0 0 3 0
V4october a 1 Q3 3 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0
V5october a 1 Q4 20 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
V6october a 1 Q5 6 15 0 0 5 0 0 0 0 1 10 0 0 0 0 7

At this point, you should note that the first row in the data matrix actually contains the column headers, but these are not encoded by R as being column headers. As far as R is concerned, the first row is just another data row. You can check this:

colnames(MyData)
NULL

We need to fix this. Also, we would like to create a dataframe now, as this is needed by the R commands we will be using, and ultimately, any visualization and analysis we will be doing. To this end, let’s first create a temporary dataframe with just the data, without the column names:

TempData <- as.data.frame(MyData[-1,],stringsAsFactors = F)
head(TempData)
A data.frame: 6 × 45
V1V2V3V4V5V6V7V8V9V10V36V37V38V39V40V41V42V43V44V45
<chr><chr><chr><chr><chr><chr><chr><chr><chr><chr><chr><chr><chr><chr><chr><chr><chr><chr><chr><chr>
V2octobera1Q14 0 000000080 110100
V3octobera1Q28 0 030000040 1 0030
V4octobera1Q33 0 010000010 0 0010
V5octobera1Q4200 010000000 0 0010
V6octobera1Q56 1500500001100 0007
V7may a2Q14 0 010000200 0 0200

Note that stringsAsFactors = F is important here because we don’t want R to convert columns to the factor class without supervision. This might be a good idea in may cases, but let’s just do it manually later. This will also force you to think carefully about what data each of you columns contains.

Now let’s assign the original column names to the temporary dataset:

colnames(TempData) <- MyData[1,] # assign column names from original data
head(TempData)
A data.frame: 6 × 45
CultivationBlockPlotQuadratAchillea millefoliumAgrostis giganteaAnagallis arvensisAnchusa arvensisAnisantha sterilisAphanes australisSemecio jacobaeaSonchus asperSpergula arvensisStellaria gramineaTaraxacum officinaleTripleurospermum inodorum Veronica arvensisVeronica persicaViola arvensisVulpia myuros
<chr><chr><chr><chr><chr><chr><chr><chr><chr><chr><chr><chr><chr><chr><chr><chr><chr><chr><chr><chr>
V2octobera1Q14 0 000000080 110100
V3octobera1Q28 0 030000040 1 0030
V4octobera1Q33 0 010000010 0 0010
V5octobera1Q4200 010000000 0 0010
V6octobera1Q56 1500500001100 0007
V7may a2Q14 0 010000200 0 0200

The row names still remain, but they are not really bothering us, so we can ignore them. But if you do want to get rid of them, you can:

rownames(TempData) <- NULL
head(TempData)
A data.frame: 6 × 45
CultivationBlockPlotQuadratAchillea millefoliumAgrostis giganteaAnagallis arvensisAnchusa arvensisAnisantha sterilisAphanes australisSemecio jacobaeaSonchus asperSpergula arvensisStellaria gramineaTaraxacum officinaleTripleurospermum inodorum Veronica arvensisVeronica persicaViola arvensisVulpia myuros
<chr><chr><chr><chr><chr><chr><chr><chr><chr><chr><chr><chr><chr><chr><chr><chr><chr><chr><chr><chr>
1octobera1Q14 0 000000080 110100
2octobera1Q28 0 030000040 1 0030
3octobera1Q33 0 010000010 0 0010
4octobera1Q4200 010000000 0 0010
5octobera1Q56 1500500001100 0007
6may a2Q14 0 010000200 0 0200

Finally, let’s convert the data to long format. For this, we need the reshape2 package:

Note

Both library() and require() are commands/functions to load packages. The difference is that require() is designed for use inside other functions, so it returns FALSE and gives a warning, whereaslibrary() returns an error by default if the package does not exist.

require(reshape2)# load the reshape2 package
Loading required package: reshape2

Check out the help for the melt command of reshape2: ?melt.

OK finally, let’s wrangle this dataset into submission!

MyWrangledData <- melt(TempData, id=c("Cultivation", "Block", "Plot", "Quadrat"), variable.name = "Species", value.name = "Count")
head(MyWrangledData); tail(MyWrangledData)
A data.frame: 6 × 6
CultivationBlockPlotQuadratSpeciesCount
<chr><chr><chr><chr><fct><chr>
1octobera1Q1Achillea millefolium4
2octobera1Q2Achillea millefolium8
3octobera1Q3Achillea millefolium3
4octobera1Q4Achillea millefolium20
5octobera1Q5Achillea millefolium6
6may a2Q1Achillea millefolium4
A data.frame: 6 × 6
CultivationBlockPlotQuadratSpeciesCount
<chr><chr><chr><chr><fct><chr>
2414may d12Q4Vulpia myuros 0
2415octoberd11Q1Vulpia myuros 0
2416octoberd11Q2Vulpia myuros 0
2417octoberd11Q3Vulpia myuros 0
2418octoberd11Q4Vulpia myuros 0
2419octoberd11Q5Vulpia myuros 0

This is the long format we have been extolling! It looks much simpler, with all the count data in a single, long column with each count value associated with some “attributes”. It is now clear that the fundamental unit of analysis is a species’ count in a quadrat, each nested within a plot, each in turn nested within a block, and finally, each of which is nested within a cultivation month (the main treatment).

We can also now assign the correct data types to each column:

MyWrangledData[, "Cultivation"] <- as.factor(MyWrangledData[, "Cultivation"])
MyWrangledData[, "Block"] <- as.factor(MyWrangledData[, "Block"])
MyWrangledData[, "Plot"] <- as.factor(MyWrangledData[, "Plot"])
MyWrangledData[, "Quadrat"] <- as.factor(MyWrangledData[, "Quadrat"])
MyWrangledData[, "Count"] <- as.integer(MyWrangledData[, "Count"])
str(MyWrangledData)
'data.frame':	2419 obs. of  6 variables:
 $ Cultivation: Factor w/ 3 levels "march","may",..: 3 3 3 3 3 2 2 2 2 2 ...
 $ Block      : Factor w/ 4 levels "a","b","c","d": 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 ...
 $ Plot       : Factor w/ 12 levels "1","10","11",..: 1 1 1 1 1 5 5 5 5 5 ...
 $ Quadrat    : Factor w/ 6 levels "Q1","Q2","Q3",..: 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 ...
 $ Species    : Factor w/ 41 levels "Achillea millefolium",..: 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 ...
 $ Count      : int  4 8 3 20 6 4 0 0 0 0 ...

On to data exploration

Once you have wrangled the Pound Hill data to its long format, you are ready to go! You may want to start by examining and visualizing the basic properties of the data, such as the number of tree species (41) in the dataset, number of quadrats (replicates) per plot and cultivation treatment, etc.

We will learn about visualization next. After that, you can return to this dataset and try out some visual data exploration. For example, a useful visualization would be to make a histogram of abundances of species, grouped by different factors. For example, you can look at distributions of species’ abundances grouped by the fundamental treatment, Cultivation.

And then came tidyverse

So if you think this is the end of the options you have for data wrangling in R, think again. There is a whole data science “ecosystem” you can use in R through the tidyverse package. This meta-package includes dplyr, the next iteration of plyr that addresses the speed issues in the latter, and tidyr, essentially a nicer wrapper to the reshape2 package with additional functions, and ggplot2 (coming up later).

Assuming you have installed tidyverse (see the end of the R Chapter), load it:

require(tidyverse)
Loading required package: tidyverse

── Attaching packages ─────────────────────────────────────── tidyverse 1.3.0 ──

 ggplot2 3.3.2      purrr   0.3.4
 tibble  3.0.3      dplyr   1.0.1
 tidyr   1.1.1      stringr 1.4.0
 readr   1.3.1      forcats 0.5.0

── Conflicts ────────────────────────────────────────── tidyverse_conflicts() ──
 dplyr::filter() masks stats::filter()
 dplyr::lag()    masks stats::lag()

This loads a number of packages at one go (and you might get some name-conflict-masking messages; see the note below). You can list these packages:

tidyverse_packages(include_self = TRUE) # the include_self = TRUE means list "tidyverse" as well 
  1. 'broom'
  2. 'cli'
  3. 'crayon'
  4. 'dbplyr'
  5. 'dplyr'
  6. 'forcats'
  7. 'ggplot2'
  8. 'haven'
  9. 'hms'
  10. 'httr'
  11. 'jsonlite'
  12. 'lubridate'
  13. 'magrittr'
  14. 'modelr'
  15. 'pillar'
  16. 'purrr'
  17. 'readr'
  18. 'readxl'
  19. 'reprex'
  20. 'rlang'
  21. 'rstudioapi'
  22. 'rvest'
  23. 'stringr'
  24. 'tibble'
  25. 'tidyr'
  26. 'xml2'
  27. 'tidyverse'

That’s a lot of packages!

The first time you load tidyverse, you will get some feedback from R, including something like the following:

── Conflicts ────────────────────────────────────────── tidyverse_conflicts() ──
✖ dplyr::filter() masks stats::filter()
✖ dplyr::lag()    masks stats::lag()

Depending on which package you are loading, you might get such a warning message, that “so and so” function is being “masked” from another one. Basically, any additional packages you load may have one or more functions with the same names(s) as existing function(s) (which will typically do something completely different) in base R’s packages. This creates name conflicts. Therefore, R will prevent you from using the new function(s) that you have enabled by using the same name of an pre-existing function. It gives priority to the pre-existing one. So, for example, if you call just filter(), the command that will be used is the one from stats, and not the one from dplyr. In this scenario, you can use the new function by using the double colon notation :: like so: dplyr::filter().

Tip

The :: notation is like the dot notation in Python — it allows you to access a particular function (like a Python module) from a package. So you can also use the command at the end of the :: (try just as_tibble(MyWrangledData), for example), but it’s just safer to use the :: because then you can rest assured that you are actually using the function you intended to.

More of :: usage coming up below!

OK, let’s try data exploration in tidyverse.

First, let’s convert the dataframe to a “tibble”:

MyWrangledData <- tibble::as_tibble(MyWrangledData) 
MyWrangledData
A tibble: 2419 × 6
CultivationBlockPlotQuadratSpeciesCount
<fct><fct><fct><fct><fct><int>
octobera1Q1Achillea millefolium 4
octobera1Q2Achillea millefolium 8
octobera1Q3Achillea millefolium 3
octobera1Q4Achillea millefolium20
octobera1Q5Achillea millefolium 6
may a2Q1Achillea millefolium 4
may a2Q2Achillea millefolium 0
may a2Q3Achillea millefolium 0
may a2Q4Achillea millefolium 0
may a2Q5Achillea millefolium 0
march a3Q1Achillea millefolium 1
march a3Q2Achillea millefolium 2
march a3Q3Achillea millefolium 5
march a3Q4Achillea millefolium12
march a3Q5Achillea millefolium 2
march a3Q6Achillea millefolium 0
may b4Q1Achillea millefolium 0
may b4Q2Achillea millefolium 0
may b4Q3Achillea millefolium 0
may b4Q4Achillea millefolium 0
may b4Q5Achillea millefolium 0
march b5Q1Achillea millefolium 3
march b5Q2Achillea millefolium 8
march b5Q3Achillea millefolium 3
march b5Q4Achillea millefolium 7
march b5Q5Achillea millefolium20
octoberb6Q1Achillea millefolium 1
octoberb6Q2Achillea millefolium 0
octoberb6Q3Achillea millefolium 3
octoberb6Q4Achillea millefolium 1
octoberb6 Q4Vulpia myuros 0
march c7 Q1Vulpia myuros 0
march c7 Q2Vulpia myuros 0
march c7 Q3Vulpia myuros 1
march c7 Q4Vulpia myuros 0
march c7 Q5Vulpia myuros 0
octoberc8 Q1Vulpia myuros 0
octoberc8 Q2Vulpia myuros 0
octoberc8 Q3Vulpia myuros 0
octoberc8 Q4Vulpia myuros 0
octoberc8 Q5Vulpia myuros 0
may c9 Q1Vulpia myuros 0
may c9 Q2Vulpia myuros 0
may c9 Q3Vulpia myuros 0
may c9 Q4Vulpia myuros 0
may c9 Q5Vulpia myuros 0
march d10Q1Vulpia myuros 0
march d10Q2Vulpia myuros 0
march d10Q3Vulpia myuros 0
march d10Q4Vulpia myuros 0
march d10Q5Vulpia myuros 25
march d10Q6Vulpia myuros 0
may d12Q1Vulpia myuros 0
may d12Q2Vulpia myuros 0
may d12Q4Vulpia myuros 0
octoberd11Q1Vulpia myuros 0
octoberd11Q2Vulpia myuros 0
octoberd11Q3Vulpia myuros 0
octoberd11Q4Vulpia myuros 0
octoberd11Q5Vulpia myuros 0
class(MyWrangledData)
  1. 'tbl_df'
  2. 'tbl'
  3. 'data.frame'

OK, there’s the funky double colon (::) notation again…

Note

A “tibble” in tidyverse is equivalent to R’s traditional data.frame. Tibbles are modified data frames that make data exploration more robust. As such, you do not need to convert a data frame to tibble to use the tidyverse functions, but its a good idea to do so. Read more about why, here.

dplyr::glimpse(MyWrangledData) #like str(), but nicer!
Rows: 2,419
Columns: 6
$ Cultivation <fct> october, october, october, october, october, may, may, ma…
$ Block       <fct> a, a, a, a, a, a, a, a, a, a, a, a, a, a, a, a, b, b, b, …
$ Plot        <fct> 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 4, 4, 4, …
$ Quadrat     <fct> Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4, Q5, Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4, Q5, Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4, Q…
$ Species     <fct> Achillea millefolium, Achillea millefolium, Achillea mill…
$ Count       <int> 4, 8, 3, 20, 6, 4, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1, 2, 5, 12, 2, 0, 0, 0, 0…

Or this:

utils::View(MyWrangledData) #same as fix()

dplyr::filter(MyWrangledData, Count>100) #like subset(), but nicer!
A tibble: 21 × 6
CultivationBlockPlotQuadratSpeciesCount
<fct><fct><fct><fct><fct><int>
octoberb6 Q1Agrostis gigantea 143
octoberc8 Q1Agrostis gigantea 198
octoberc8 Q5Agrostis gigantea 351
march d10Q1Agrostis gigantea 259
march d10Q4Agrostis gigantea 291
may d12Q2Agrostis gigantea 145
octoberd11Q4Agrostis gigantea 113
may c9 Q2Anisantha sterilis120
octobera1 Q1Holcus mollis 159
octobera1 Q3Holcus mollis 144
octobera1 Q4Holcus mollis 124
octobera1 Q5Holcus mollis 115
may a2 Q1Holcus mollis 120
octoberb6 Q2Holcus mollis 129
octoberb6 Q3Holcus mollis 123
octoberc8 Q2Holcus mollis 256
octoberc8 Q3Holcus mollis 147
octoberc8 Q4Holcus mollis 128
octoberd11Q1Holcus mollis 104
octoberd11Q2Holcus mollis 131
march d10Q3Medicago lupulina 114
dplyr::slice(MyWrangledData, 10:15) # Look at an arbitrary set of data rows
A tibble: 6 × 6
CultivationBlockPlotQuadratSpeciesCount
<fct><fct><fct><fct><fct><int>
may a2Q5Achillea millefolium 0
marcha3Q1Achillea millefolium 1
marcha3Q2Achillea millefolium 2
marcha3Q3Achillea millefolium 5
marcha3Q4Achillea millefolium12
marcha3Q5Achillea millefolium 2

Learning to use tidyverse involves learning some new syntax and a lot of new commands, but if you plan to do a lot of data wrangling and exploration, you will benefit from getting to know them well.

Have a look at some tidyverse-related cheatsheets to explore further.

One additional thing that you would need to get used to in the tidyverse is piping multiple commands using the %% notation, which makes your code ore compact, and in theory, more readable.

Practicals

Data wrangling with tidyverse

We used reshape2 in DataWrang.R for wrangling that dataset. Write a new script called DataWrangTidy.R that uses tidyverse (and specifically, dplyr and tidyr) for the same data wrangling steps. The best way to do this is to copy DataWrang.R and rename it DataWrangTidy.R. Then systematically redo the script from start to end, looking for a function in dplyr and tidyr that does the same thing in each wrangling step.

For example, to convert from wide to long format, instead of using melt() (or dcast()) from the reshape2 package, you can use gather() from tidyr.

Don’t forget the cheatsheets, an particular the Data Transformation Cheatsheet.

Handling Big Data in R

The buzzword ‘Big Data’ basically refers to datasets that have the following properties:

  1. A dataset that does not fit into available RAM on one system (say, 2 gigabytes).

  2. A dataset that has so many rows (when in it’s long format — see above sections) that it significantly slows down your analysis or simulation without vectorization (that is, when looping).

Both these criteria are programming language-, and computer hardware-dependent, of course. For example, a 32-bit OS can only handle ~2 GB of RAM, so this computer will struggle every time you try to handle a dataset in that size range.

R reads data into RAM all at once when you using the read.table (or its wrapper, read.csv() — maybe you have realized by now that read.csv() is basically calling read.table() with a particular set of options. That is, objects in R live in memory entirely, and big-ish data in RAM will cause R to choke. Python has similar problems, but you can circumvent these to an extent by using numpy arrays (see the second Python Chapter).

There are a few options (which you can combine, of course) if you are actually using datasets that are so large:

  • Import large files smartly; e.g., using scan() in R, and then create subsets of the data that you need. Also, use the reshape or tidyr packages to covert your data in the most “square” (so neither too long or too wide) format as possible. Of course, you will need subsets of data in long format for analysis (see sections above).

  • Use the bigmemory package to load data in the gb range (e.g., use read.big.matrix() instead of read.table(). This package also has other useful functions, such as foreach() instead of for() for better memory management.

  • Use a 64 bit version of R with enough memory and preferably on UNIX/Linux!

  • Vectorize your analyses/simulations to the extent possible (See Python and R chapters).

  • Use databases (more on this below).

  • Use distributed computing (distribute the analysis/simulation across multiple CPU’s).

The next subsection superficially covers databases. We will cover memory management in the advanced Python, HPC and C weeks.

Databases and R

R can be used to link to and extract data from online databases such as PubMed and GenBank, or to manipulate and access your own. Computational Biology datasets are often quite large, and it makes sense to access their data by querying the databases instead of manually downloading them. So also, your own data may be complex and large, in which case you may want to organize and manage those data in a proper relational database.

Practically all the data wrangling principles in the previous sections are a part and parcel of relational databases.

There are many R packages that provide an interface to databases (SQLite, MySQL, Oracle, etc). Check out R packages DBI and RMySQL .

R can also also be used to access, update and manage databases. In particular SQLite allows you to build, manipulate, and access databases easily. Try the script called SQLinR.R available in the code directory of TheMUlQuaBio. Also have a look at this Appendix.

Data visualization

Now that you have learned how to wrangle data, let’s learn some key principles of graphics and visualization, and how to implement them in R. You can use R to build a complete, reproducible workflow for data visualization for both exploratory and publication purposes. We will start with some basic plotting and data exploration. You will then learn to generate publication-quality visualizations using the ggplot2 package.

Data exploration with basic plotting

Before you do any statistical analyses with data, you must clean, explore, and visualize it. And eventually, you want to produce a finished product that presents visualizations of your data and your results clearly and concisely.

Ultimately, at both, the data exploration and the finished product stages, the goal of graphics is to present information such that it provides intuitive ideas. As Edward Tufte says: “Graphical excellence is that which gives to the viewer the greatest number of ideas in the shortest time with the least ink in the smallest space.”

R can produce beautiful graphics without the time-consuming and fiddly methods that you might have used in Excel or equivalent. You should also make it a habit to quickly plot the data for exploratory analysis. So we are going to learn some basic plotting first.

Basic plotting commands in R

Here is a menu of basic R plotting commands (use ?commandname to learn more about it):

Command

What it does

plot(x,y)

Scatterplot

plot(y~x)

Scatterplot with y as a response variable

hist(mydata)

Histogram

barplot(mydata)

Bar plot

points(y1$\sim$x1)

Add another series of points

boxplot(y$\sim$x)

Boxplot

Tip

R graphics devices: In all that follows, you may often end up plotting multiple plots on the same graphics window without intending to do so, because R by default keeps plotting in the most recent plotting window that was opened. You can close a particular graphics window or “device” by using dev.off(), and all open devices/windows with graphics.off(). By default, dev.off() will close the most recent figure device that was opened.

Note that there are invisible devices as well! For example, if you are printing to pdf (coming up below), the device or graphics window will not be visible on your computer screen.

Now let’s try some simple plotting for data exploration. As a case study, we will use a dataset on Consumer-Resource (e.g., Predator-Prey) body mass ratios taken from the Ecological Archives of the ESA (Barnes et al. 2008, Ecology 89:881).

\(\star\) Copy EcolArchives-E089-51-D1.csv from the TheMulQuaBio data to your own data directory. Then, launch R and read in these data to a data frame (note the relative path):

MyDF <- read.csv("../data/EcolArchives-E089-51-D1.csv")
dim(MyDF) #check the size of the data frame you loaded
  1. 34931
  2. 15

Let’s look at what the data contain. Type MyDF and hit the TAB key twice in the R commandline.

Tip

Remember Tabbing: In your smart code editor or IDE such as vscode or RStudio, you will see a drop-down list of all the column headers in a dataframe when you hit TAB once after MyDF$

You can also use str() and head():

str(MyDF)
'data.frame':	34931 obs. of  15 variables:
 $ Record.number              : int  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ...
 $ In.refID                   : chr  "ATSH063" "ATSH080" "ATSH089" "ATSH143" ...
 $ IndividualID               : chr  "1" "2" "3" "4" ...
 $ Predator                   : chr  "Rhizoprionodon terraenovae" "Rhizoprionodon terraenovae" "Rhizoprionodon terraenovae" "Rhizoprionodon terraenovae" ...
 $ Predator.common.name       : chr  "Atlantic sharpnose shark" "Atlantic sharpnose shark" "Atlantic sharpnose shark" "Atlantic sharpnose shark" ...
 $ Predator.taxon             : chr  "ectotherm vertebrate" "ectotherm vertebrate" "ectotherm vertebrate" "ectotherm vertebrate" ...
 $ Predator.lifestage         : chr  "adult" "adult" "adult" "adult" ...
 $ Type.of.feeding.interaction: chr  "predacious/piscivorous" "predacious/piscivorous" "predacious/piscivorous" "predacious/piscivorous" ...
 $ Predator.mass              : num  1540 1600 1840 87.6 63.9 79.2 71.2 92.1 79.2 79.2 ...
 $ Prey                       : chr  "teleosts/molluscs/crustaceans" "teleosts/molluscs/crustaceans" "teleosts/molluscs/crustaceans" "teleosts/molluscs/crustaceans" ...
 $ Prey.common.name           : chr  "teleosts/molluscs/crustaceans" "teleosts/molluscs/crustaceans" "teleosts/molluscs/crustaceans" "teleosts/molluscs/crustaceans" ...
 $ Prey.taxon                 : chr  "mixed" "mixed" "mixed" "mixed" ...
 $ Prey.mass                  : num  14.3 6.02 11.9 8.12 6.56 5.41 4.45 5.98 6.95 5.6 ...
 $ Prey.mass.unit             : chr  "g" "g" "g" "g" ...
 $ Location                   : chr  "Apalachicola Bay, Florida" "Apalachicola Bay, Florida" "Apalachicola Bay, Florida" "Apalachicola Bay, Florida" ...
head(MyDF)
A data.frame: 6 × 15
Record.numberIn.refIDIndividualIDPredatorPredator.common.namePredator.taxonPredator.lifestageType.of.feeding.interactionPredator.massPreyPrey.common.namePrey.taxonPrey.massPrey.mass.unitLocation
<int><chr><chr><chr><chr><chr><chr><chr><dbl><chr><chr><chr><dbl><chr><chr>
11ATSH0631Rhizoprionodon terraenovaeAtlantic sharpnose sharkectotherm vertebrateadultpredacious/piscivorous1540.0teleosts/molluscs/crustaceansteleosts/molluscs/crustaceansmixed14.30gApalachicola Bay, Florida
22ATSH0802Rhizoprionodon terraenovaeAtlantic sharpnose sharkectotherm vertebrateadultpredacious/piscivorous1600.0teleosts/molluscs/crustaceansteleosts/molluscs/crustaceansmixed 6.02gApalachicola Bay, Florida
33ATSH0893Rhizoprionodon terraenovaeAtlantic sharpnose sharkectotherm vertebrateadultpredacious/piscivorous1840.0teleosts/molluscs/crustaceansteleosts/molluscs/crustaceansmixed11.90gApalachicola Bay, Florida
44ATSH1434Rhizoprionodon terraenovaeAtlantic sharpnose sharkectotherm vertebrateadultpredacious/piscivorous 87.6teleosts/molluscs/crustaceansteleosts/molluscs/crustaceansmixed 8.12gApalachicola Bay, Florida
55ATSH1615Rhizoprionodon terraenovaeAtlantic sharpnose sharkectotherm vertebrateadultpredacious/piscivorous 63.9teleosts/molluscs/crustaceansteleosts/molluscs/crustaceansmixed 6.56gApalachicola Bay, Florida
66ATSH1666Rhizoprionodon terraenovaeAtlantic sharpnose sharkectotherm vertebrateadultpredacious/piscivorous 79.2teleosts/molluscs/crustaceansteleosts/molluscs/crustaceansmixed 5.41gApalachicola Bay, Florida

You might want to try the dplyr way to do this data inspection/exploration as well, as you did above.

require(tidyverse)
dplyr::glimpse(MyDF)
Rows: 34,931
Columns: 15
$ Record.number               <int> 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13,…
$ In.refID                    <chr> "ATSH063", "ATSH080", "ATSH089", "ATSH143"…
$ IndividualID                <chr> "1", "2", "3", "4", "5", "6", "7", "8", "9…
$ Predator                    <chr> "Rhizoprionodon terraenovae", "Rhizopriono…
$ Predator.common.name        <chr> "Atlantic sharpnose shark", "Atlantic shar…
$ Predator.taxon              <chr> "ectotherm vertebrate", "ectotherm vertebr…
$ Predator.lifestage          <chr> "adult", "adult", "adult", "adult", "adult…
$ Type.of.feeding.interaction <chr> "predacious/piscivorous", "predacious/pisc…
$ Predator.mass               <dbl> 1540.0, 1600.0, 1840.0, 87.6, 63.9, 79.2, …
$ Prey                        <chr> "teleosts/molluscs/crustaceans", "teleosts…
$ Prey.common.name            <chr> "teleosts/molluscs/crustaceans", "teleosts…
$ Prey.taxon                  <chr> "mixed", "mixed", "mixed", "mixed", "mixed…
$ Prey.mass                   <dbl> 14.30, 6.02, 11.90, 8.12, 6.56, 5.41, 4.45…
$ Prey.mass.unit              <chr> "g", "g", "g", "g", "g", "g", "g", "g", "g…
$ Location                    <chr> "Apalachicola Bay, Florida", "Apalachicola…

As you can see, these data contain predator-prey body size information. This is an interesting dataset because it is huge, and covers a wide range of body sizes of aquatic species involved in consumer-resource interactions — from unicells to whales. Analyzing this dataset should tell us a lot about what sizes of prey predators like to eat.

A consumer-resource (predator-prey) interaction waiting to happen

Let’s change the type of certain columns to factor because we will want to use them as grouping variables:

MyDF$Type.of.feeding.interaction <- as.factor(MyDF$Type.of.feeding.interaction)
MyDF$Location <- as.factor(MyDF$Location)
str(MyDF)
'data.frame':	34931 obs. of  15 variables:
 $ Record.number              : int  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ...
 $ In.refID                   : chr  "ATSH063" "ATSH080" "ATSH089" "ATSH143" ...
 $ IndividualID               : chr  "1" "2" "3" "4" ...
 $ Predator                   : chr  "Rhizoprionodon terraenovae" "Rhizoprionodon terraenovae" "Rhizoprionodon terraenovae" "Rhizoprionodon terraenovae" ...
 $ Predator.common.name       : chr  "Atlantic sharpnose shark" "Atlantic sharpnose shark" "Atlantic sharpnose shark" "Atlantic sharpnose shark" ...
 $ Predator.taxon             : chr  "ectotherm vertebrate" "ectotherm vertebrate" "ectotherm vertebrate" "ectotherm vertebrate" ...
 $ Predator.lifestage         : chr  "adult" "adult" "adult" "adult" ...
 $ Type.of.feeding.interaction: Factor w/ 5 levels "insectivorous",..: 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 ...
 $ Predator.mass              : num  1540 1600 1840 87.6 63.9 79.2 71.2 92.1 79.2 79.2 ...
 $ Prey                       : chr  "teleosts/molluscs/crustaceans" "teleosts/molluscs/crustaceans" "teleosts/molluscs/crustaceans" "teleosts/molluscs/crustaceans" ...
 $ Prey.common.name           : chr  "teleosts/molluscs/crustaceans" "teleosts/molluscs/crustaceans" "teleosts/molluscs/crustaceans" "teleosts/molluscs/crustaceans" ...
 $ Prey.taxon                 : chr  "mixed" "mixed" "mixed" "mixed" ...
 $ Prey.mass                  : num  14.3 6.02 11.9 8.12 6.56 5.41 4.45 5.98 6.95 5.6 ...
 $ Prey.mass.unit             : chr  "g" "g" "g" "g" ...
 $ Location                   : Factor w/ 25 levels "Andaman Sea (West of South Thailand)",..: 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 ...

Scatter Plots

Let’s start by plotting Predator mass vs. Prey mass.

plot(MyDF$Predator.mass,MyDF$Prey.mass)
../_images/08-Data_R_63_0.png

That doesn’t look very meaningful! Let’s try taking logarithms. Why? - Because body sizes across species tend to be log-normally distributed, with a lot of small species and a few large ones. Taking a log allows you to inspect the body size range in a meaningful (logarithmic) scale and reveals the true relationship. This also illustrates a important point. Just like statistical analyses, the effectiveness of data visualization too depends on the type of distribution of the data.

plot(log(MyDF$Predator.mass),log(MyDF$Prey.mass))
../_images/08-Data_R_65_0.png

Let’s look at the same using a base-10 log transform:

plot(log10(MyDF$Predator.mass),log10(MyDF$Prey.mass))
../_images/08-Data_R_67_0.png

Using a log10 transform is often a good idea because then you can see things in terms of “orders of magnitude”, (\(10^1\), \(10^2\), \(10^3\), etc), which makes it easier to determine what the actual values in the original scale are.

We can change almost any aspect of the resulting graph; let’s change the symbols by specifying the plot characters using pch:

plot(log10(MyDF$Predator.mass),log10(MyDF$Prey.mass),pch=20) # Change marker
../_images/08-Data_R_69_0.png
plot(log10(MyDF$Predator.mass),log10(MyDF$Prey.mass),pch=20, xlab = "Predator Mass (g)", ylab = "Prey Mass (g)") # Add labels
../_images/08-Data_R_70_0.png

A really great summary of basic R graphical parameters can be found here.

Histograms

Why did we have to take a logarithm to see the relationship between predator and prey size? Plotting histograms of the two classes (predator, prey) should be insightful, as we can then see the “marginal” distributions of the two variables.

Let’s first plot a histogram of predator body masses:

hist(MyDF$Predator.mass)
../_images/08-Data_R_72_0.png

Clearly, the data are heavily right skewed, with small body sized organisms dominating (that’s a general pattern, as mentioned above). Let’s now take a logarithm and see if we can get a better idea of what the distribution of predator sizes looks like:

hist(log10(MyDF$Predator.mass), xlab = "log10(Predator Mass (g))", ylab = "Count") # include labels
../_images/08-Data_R_74_0.png
hist(log10(MyDF$Predator.mass),xlab="log10(Predator Mass (g))",ylab="Count", 
    col = "lightblue", border = "pink") # Change bar and borders colors 
../_images/08-Data_R_75_0.png

So, taking a log really makes clearer what the distribution of body predator sizes looks like. Try the same with prey body masses.

\(\star\) You can do a lot of beautification and fine-tuning of your R plots! As an exercise, try adjusting the histogram bin widths to make them same for the predator and prey, and making the x and y labels larger and in boldface. To get started, look at the help documentation of hist.

Subplots

We can also plot both predator and prey body masses in different sub-plots using par so that we can compare them visually.

par(mfcol=c(2,1)) #initialize multi-paneled plot
par(mfg = c(1,1)) # specify which sub-plot to use first 
hist(log10(MyDF$Predator.mass),
    xlab = "log10(Predator Mass (g))", ylab = "Count", col = "lightblue", border = "pink", 
    main = 'Predator') # Add title
par(mfg = c(2,1)) # Second sub-plot
hist(log10(MyDF$Prey.mass), xlab="log10(Prey Mass (g))",ylab="Count", col = "lightgreen", border = "pink", main = 'prey')
../_images/08-Data_R_77_0.png

The par() function can set multiple graphics parameters (not just multi-panel plots), including figure margins, axis labels, and more. Check out the help for this function.

Another option for making multi-panel plots is the layout function.

Overlaying plots

Better still, we would like to see if the predator mass and prey mass distributions are similar by overlaying them.

hist(log10(MyDF$Predator.mass), # Predator histogram
    xlab="log10(Body Mass (g))", ylab="Count", 
    col = rgb(1, 0, 0, 0.5), # Note 'rgb', fourth value is transparency
    main = "Predator-prey size Overlap") 
hist(log10(MyDF$Prey.mass), col = rgb(0, 0, 1, 0.5), add = T) # Plot prey
legend('topleft',c('Predators','Prey'),   # Add legend
    fill=c(rgb(1, 0, 0, 0.5), rgb(0, 0, 1, 0.5))) # Define legend colors
../_images/08-Data_R_79_0.png

Plot annotation with text can be done with either single or double quotes, i.e., ‘Plot Title’ or “Plot Title”, respectively. But it is generally a good idea to use double quotes because sometimes you would like to use an apostrophe in your title or axis label strings.

★ It would be nicer to have both the plots with the same bin sizes – try to do it

Boxplots

Now, let’s try plotting boxplots instead of histograms. These are useful for getting a visual summary of the distribution of your data.

boxplot(log10(MyDF$Predator.mass), xlab = "Location", ylab = "log10(Predator Mass)", main = "Predator mass")
../_images/08-Data_R_81_0.png

Now let’s see how many locations the data are from:

boxplot(log(MyDF$Predator.mass) ~ MyDF$Location, # Why the tilde?
    xlab = "Location", ylab = "Predator Mass",
    main = "Predator mass by location")
../_images/08-Data_R_83_0.png

Note the tilde (~). This is to tell R to subdivide or categorize your analysis and plot by the “Factor” location. More on this later.

That’s a lot of locations! You will need an appropriately wide plot to see all the boxplots adequately. Now let’s try boxplots by feeding interaction type:

boxplot(log(MyDF$Predator.mass) ~ MyDF$Type.of.feeding.interaction,
    xlab = "Location", ylab = "Predator Mass",
    main = "Predator mass by feeding interaction type")
../_images/08-Data_R_85_0.png

Combining plot types

It would be nice to see both the predator and prey (marginal) distributions as well as the scatterplot for an exploratory analysis. We can do this by adding boxplots of the marginal variables to the scatterplot.

 par(fig=c(0,0.8,0,0.8)) # specify figure size as proportion
 plot(log(MyDF$Predator.mass),log(MyDF$Prey.mass), xlab = "Predator Mass (g)", ylab = "Prey Mass (g)") # Add labels
 par(fig=c(0,0.8,0.4,1), new=TRUE)
 boxplot(log(MyDF$Predator.mass), horizontal=TRUE, axes=FALSE)
 par(fig=c(0.55,1,0,0.8),new=TRUE)
 boxplot(log(MyDF$Prey.mass), axes=FALSE)
 mtext("Fancy Predator-prey scatterplot", side=3, outer=TRUE, line=-3)
../_images/08-Data_R_87_0.png

To understand this plotting method, think of the full graph area as going from (0,0) in the lower left corner to (1,1) in the upper right corner. The format of the fig= parameter is a numerical vector of the form c(x1, x2, y1, y2), corresponding to c(bottom, left, top, right). First, par(fig=c(0,0.8,0,0.8)) sets up the scatterplot going from 0 to 0.8 on the x axis and 0 to 0.8 on the y axis, leaving some area for the boxplots at the top and right. The top boxplot goes from 0 to 0.8 on the x axis and 0.4 to 1 on the y axis. The right hand boxplot goes from 0.55 to 1 on the x axis and 0 to 0.8 on the y axis. You can experiment with these proportions to change the spacings between plots.

This plot is useful, because it shows you what the marginal distributions of the two variables (Predator mass and Prey mass) are.

Below you will learn to use ggplot to produce a much more elegant, pretty multi-panel plots.

Saving your graphics

And you can also save the figure in a vector graphics format like a pdf. It is important to learn to do this, because you want to be able to save your plots in good resolution, and want to avoid the manual steps of clicking on the figure, doing “save as”, etc. So let’s save the figure as a PDF:

pdf("../results/Pred_Prey_Overlay.pdf", # Open blank pdf page using a relative path
    11.7, 8.3) # These numbers are page dimensions in inches
hist(log(MyDF$Predator.mass), # Plot predator histogram (note 'rgb')
    xlab="Body Mass (g)", ylab="Count", col = rgb(1, 0, 0, 0.5), main = "Predator-Prey Size Overlap") 
hist(log(MyDF$Prey.mass), # Plot prey weights
    col = rgb(0, 0, 1, 0.5), 
    add = T)  # Add to same plot = TRUE
legend('topleft',c('Predators','Prey'), # Add legend
    fill=c(rgb(1, 0, 0, 0.5), rgb(0, 0, 1, 0.5))) 
graphics.off(); #you can also use dev.off() 

Always try to save results in a vector format, which can be scaled up to any size. For more on vector vs raster images/graphics, see this.

Note that you are saving to the results directory now. This is a recommended project organization and workflow: store and retrieve data from a Data directory, keep your code and work from a Code directory, and save outputs to a results directory.

You can also try other graphic output formats. For example, png() (a raster format) instead of pdf(). As always, look at the help documentation of each of these commands!

Practicals

Body mass distributions

Write a script that draws and saves three figures, each containing subplots of distributions of predator mass, prey mass, and the size ratio of prey mass over predator mass by feeding interaction type. Use logarithms of masses (or size ratios)for all three plots. In addition, the script should calculate the (log) mean and median predator mass, prey mass and predator-prey size-ratios to a csv file.

Call the script PP_Dists.R and save it in the Code directory — sourcing or running this script should result in three files called Pred_Subplots.pdf, Prey_Subplots.pdf, and SizeRatio_Subplots.pdf (the names should be self-explanatory), and a single csv file PP_Results.csv containing the mean and median log predator mass, prey mass, and predator-prey size ratio, by feeding type. The csv file should have appropriate headers (e.g., Feeding type, Mean, Median). (Hint: you will have to initialize a new dataframe or matrix in the script to first store the calculations)

The script should be self-sufficient and not need any external inputs. It should import the above predator-prey dataset from the appropriate directory, and save the graphic plots to the appropriate directory (Hint: use relative paths!).

Use the par() function to create the subplots. For calculating the body size statistics by feeding type, you can either use the “loopy” way — first obtaining a list of feeding types (look up the unique or levels functions) and then loop over them, using subset to extract the dataset by feeding type at each iteration, or the R-savvy way, by using tapply or ddply and avoiding looping altogether.

Beautiful graphics in R

R can produce beautiful visualizations, but it typically takes a lot of work to obtain the desired result. This is because the starting point is pretty much a “bare” plot, and adding features commonly required for publication-grade figures (legends, statistics, regressions, sub-plotting etc.) can require a lot of small and painful additional arguments to the plotting commands at the same time, or even additional steps (such as the fancy predator-prey scatterplot above).

Moreover, it is very difficult to switch from one representation of the data to another (i.e., from boxplots to scatterplots), or to plot several datasets together. The R package ggplot2 overcomes these issues, and produces truly high-quality, publication-ready graphics suitable for papers, theses and reports.

Note

3D plots: Currently, ggplot2 cannot be used to create 3D graphs or mosaic plots (but see this). In any case, most of you won’t be needing 3D plots. If you do, there are many ways to do 3D plots using other plotting packages in R. In particular, look up the scatterplot3d and plot3D packages.

ggplot2 differs from other approaches as it attempts to provide a “grammar” for graphics in which each layer is the equivalent of a verb, subject etc. and a plot is the equivalent of a sentence. All graphs start with a layer showing the data, other layers and attributes/styles are added to modify the plot. Specifically, according to this grammar, a statistical graphic is a “mapping” from data to geometric objects (points, lines, bars; set using geom) with aesthetic attributes (colour, shape, size; set using aes).

For more on the ideas underlying ggplot, see the book “ggplot2: Elegant Graphics for Data Analysis”, by H. Wickham (in your Reading directory). Also, the ggplot2 website is an excellent resource.

If ggplot2 is not available on your computer, look up the section on installing packages in the R Chapter.

ggplot can be used in two ways: with qplot (for quick plotting) and ggplot for fully customized plotting.

Note that ggplot2 only accepts data in data frames.

Quick plotting with qplot

qplot can be used to quickly produce graphics for exploratory data analysis, and as a base for more complex graphics. It uses syntax that is closer to the standard R plotting commands.

We will use the same predator-prey body size dataset again – you will soon see how much nice the same types of plots you made above look when done with ggplot!

First, load the package:

require(ggplot2)

Scatterplots

Let’s start plotting the Predator.mass vs Prey.mass:

qplot(Prey.mass, Predator.mass, data = MyDF)
../_images/08-Data_R_95_0.png

As before, let’s take logarithms and plot:

qplot(log(Prey.mass), log(Predator.mass), data = MyDF)
../_images/08-Data_R_97_0.png

Now, color the points according to the type of feeding interaction:

qplot(log(Prey.mass), log(Predator.mass), data = MyDF, colour = Type.of.feeding.interaction)
../_images/08-Data_R_99_0.png

But the figure’s aspect ratio is not very nice. Let’s change it using the asp option:

qplot(log(Prey.mass), log(Predator.mass), data = MyDF, colour = Type.of.feeding.interaction, asp = 1)
../_images/08-Data_R_101_0.png

The same as above, but changing the shape:

qplot(log(Prey.mass), log(Predator.mass), data = MyDF, shape = Type.of.feeding.interaction, asp = 1)
../_images/08-Data_R_103_0.png

Aesthetic mappings

These examples demonstrate a key difference between qplot (and indeed, ggplot2’s approach) and the standard plot command: When you want to assign colours, sizes or shapes to the points on your plot, using the plot command, it’s your responsibility to convert (i.e., “map”) a categorical variable in your data (e.g., type of feeding interaction in the above case) onto colors (or shapes) that plot knows how to use (e.g., by specifying “red”, “blue”, “green”, etc).

ggplot does this mapping for you automatically, and also provides a legend! This makes it really easy to quickly include additional data (e.g., if a new feeding interaction type was added to the data) on the plot.

Instead of using ggplot’s automatic mapping, if you want to manually set a color or a shape, you have to use I() (meaning “Identity”). To see this in practice, try the following:

qplot(log(Prey.mass), log(Predator.mass), 
    data = MyDF, colour = "red")
../_images/08-Data_R_105_0.png

You chose red, but ggplot used mapping to convert it to a particular shade of red. To set it manually to the real red, do this:

qplot(log(Prey.mass), log(Predator.mass), data = MyDF, colour = I("red"))
../_images/08-Data_R_107_0.png

Similarly, for point size, compare these two:

qplot(log(Prey.mass), log(Predator.mass), data = MyDF, size = 3) #with ggplot size mapping
../_images/08-Data_R_109_0.png
qplot(log(Prey.mass), log(Predator.mass),  data = MyDF, size = I(3)) #no mapping
../_images/08-Data_R_110_0.png

But for shape, ggplot doesn’t have a continuous mapping because shapes are a discrete variable.So

qplot(log(Prey.mass), log(Predator.mass), data = MyDF, shape = 3)

will give an error.

Instead, try this:

qplot(log(Prey.mass), log(Predator.mass), data = MyDF, shape= I(3))
../_images/08-Data_R_112_0.png

Setting transparency

Because there are so many points, we can make them semi-transparent using alpha so that the overlaps can be seen:

qplot(log(Prey.mass), log(Predator.mass), data = MyDF, colour = Type.of.feeding.interaction, alpha = I(.5))
../_images/08-Data_R_114_0.png

Here, try using alpha = .5 instead of alpha = I(.5) and see what happens.

Adding smoothers and regression lines

Now add a smoother to the points:

qplot(log(Prey.mass), log(Predator.mass), data = MyDF, geom = c("point", "smooth"))
`geom_smooth()` using method = 'gam' and formula 'y ~ s(x, bs = "cs")'
../_images/08-Data_R_116_1.png

If we want to have a linear regression, we need to specify the method as being lm:

qplot(log(Prey.mass), log(Predator.mass), data = MyDF, geom = c("point", "smooth")) + geom_smooth(method = "lm")
`geom_smooth()` using method = 'gam' and formula 'y ~ s(x, bs = "cs")'

`geom_smooth()` using formula 'y ~ x'
../_images/08-Data_R_118_1.png

lm stands for linear models. Linear regression is a type of linear model. More on this in the BASIC DATA ANALYSES AND STATISTICS section of these notes.

We can also add a “smoother” for each type of interaction:

qplot(log(Prey.mass), log(Predator.mass), data = MyDF, geom = c("point", "smooth"), 
      colour = Type.of.feeding.interaction) + geom_smooth(method = "lm")
`geom_smooth()` using method = 'gam' and formula 'y ~ s(x, bs = "cs")'

`geom_smooth()` using formula 'y ~ x'
../_images/08-Data_R_120_1.png

To extend the lines to the full range, use fullrange = TRUE:

qplot(log(Prey.mass), log(Predator.mass), data = MyDF, geom = c("point", "smooth"),
      colour = Type.of.feeding.interaction) + geom_smooth(method = "lm",fullrange = TRUE)
`geom_smooth()` using method = 'gam' and formula 'y ~ s(x, bs = "cs")'

`geom_smooth()` using formula 'y ~ x'
../_images/08-Data_R_122_1.png

Now let’s see how the ratio between prey and predator mass changes according to the type of interaction:

qplot(Type.of.feeding.interaction, log(Prey.mass/Predator.mass), data = MyDF)
../_images/08-Data_R_124_0.png

Because there are so many points, we can “jitter” them to get a better idea of the spread:

qplot(Type.of.feeding.interaction, log(Prey.mass/Predator.mass), data = MyDF, geom = "jitter")
../_images/08-Data_R_126_0.png

Boxplots

Or we can draw a boxplot of the data (note the geom argument, which stands for geometry):

qplot(Type.of.feeding.interaction, log(Prey.mass/Predator.mass), data = MyDF, geom = "boxplot")
../_images/08-Data_R_128_0.png

Histograms and density plots

Now let’s draw an histogram of predator-prey mass ratios:

qplot(log(Prey.mass/Predator.mass), data = MyDF, geom =  "histogram")
`stat_bin()` using `bins = 30`. Pick better value with `binwidth`.
../_images/08-Data_R_130_1.png

Color the histogram according to the interaction type:

qplot(log(Prey.mass/Predator.mass), data = MyDF, geom =  "histogram", 
      fill = Type.of.feeding.interaction)
`stat_bin()` using `bins = 30`. Pick better value with `binwidth`.
../_images/08-Data_R_132_1.png

You can also define your own bin widths (in units of the x axis):

qplot(log(Prey.mass/Predator.mass), data = MyDF, geom =  "histogram", 
      fill = Type.of.feeding.interaction, binwidth = 1)
../_images/08-Data_R_134_0.png

To make it easier to read, we can plot the smoothed density of the data:

qplot(log(Prey.mass/Predator.mass), data = MyDF, geom =  "density", 
      fill = Type.of.feeding.interaction)
../_images/08-Data_R_136_0.png

And you can make the densities transparent so that the overlaps are visible:

qplot(log(Prey.mass/Predator.mass), data = MyDF, geom =  "density", 
      fill = Type.of.feeding.interaction, 
      alpha = I(0.5))
../_images/08-Data_R_138_0.png

or using colour instead of fill draws only the edge of the curve:

qplot(log(Prey.mass/Predator.mass), data = MyDF, geom =  "density", 
      colour = Type.of.feeding.interaction)
../_images/08-Data_R_140_0.png

Similarly, geom = "bar" produces a barplot, geom = "line" a series of points joined by a line, etc.

Multi-faceted plots

An alternative way of displaying data belonging to different classes is using “faceting”:

qplot(log(Prey.mass/Predator.mass), facets = Type.of.feeding.interaction ~., data = MyDF, geom =  "density")
../_images/08-Data_R_142_0.png

The ~. (the space is not important) notation tells ggplot whether to do the faceting by row or by column. So if you want a by-column configuration, switch ~ and ., and also swap the position of the .~:

qplot(log(Prey.mass/Predator.mass), facets =  .~ Type.of.feeding.interaction, data = MyDF, geom =  "density")
../_images/08-Data_R_144_0.png

Logarithmic axes

A better way to plot data in the log scale is to also set the axes to be logarithmic:

qplot(Prey.mass, Predator.mass, data = MyDF, log="xy")
../_images/08-Data_R_146_0.png

Plot annotations

Let’s add a title and labels:

qplot(Prey.mass, Predator.mass, data = MyDF, log="xy",
    main = "Relation between predator and prey mass", 
    xlab = "log(Prey mass) (g)", 
    ylab = "log(Predator mass) (g)")
../_images/08-Data_R_148_0.png

Adding + theme_bw() makes it suitable for black and white printing.

qplot(Prey.mass, Predator.mass, data = MyDF, log="xy",
    main = "Relation between predator and prey mass", 
    xlab = "Prey mass (g)", 
    ylab = "Predator mass (g)") + theme_bw()
../_images/08-Data_R_150_0.png

Saving your plots

Finally, let’s save a pdf file of the figure (same approach as we used before):

pdf("../results/MyFirst-ggplot2-Figure.pdf")
print(qplot(Prey.mass, Predator.mass, data = MyDF,log="xy",
    main = "Relation between predator and prey mass", 
    xlab = "log(Prey mass) (g)", 
    ylab = "log(Predator mass) (g)") + theme_bw())
dev.off()
png: 2

Using print ensures that the whole command is kept together and that you can use the command in a script.

Some more important ggplot options

Other important options to keep in mind:

Option

xlim

limits for x axis: xlim = c(0,12)

ylim

limits for y axis

log

log transform variable log = "x", log = "y", log = "xy"

main

title of the plot main = "My Graph"

xlab

x-axis label

ylab

y-axis label

asp

aspect ratio asp = 2, asp = 0.5

margins

whether or not margins will be displayed

The geom argument

geom Specifies the geometric objects that define the graph type. The geom option is expressed as a R character vector with one or more entries. geom values include “point”, “smooth”, “boxplot”, “line”, “histogram”, “density”, “bar”, and “jitter”.

Try the following:

# load the data
MyDF <- as.data.frame(read.csv("../data/EcolArchives-E089-51-D1.csv"))

# barplot
qplot(Predator.lifestage, data = MyDF, geom = "bar")
../_images/08-Data_R_154_0.png
# boxplot
qplot(Predator.lifestage, log(Prey.mass), data = MyDF, geom = "boxplot")
../_images/08-Data_R_155_0.png
# violin plot
qplot(Predator.lifestage, log(Prey.mass), data = MyDF, geom = "violin")
../_images/08-Data_R_156_0.png
# density
qplot(log(Predator.mass), data = MyDF, geom = "density")
../_images/08-Data_R_157_0.png
# histogram
qplot(log(Predator.mass), data = MyDF, geom = "histogram")
`stat_bin()` using `bins = 30`. Pick better value with `binwidth`.
../_images/08-Data_R_158_1.png
# scatterplot
qplot(log(Predator.mass), log(Prey.mass), data = MyDF, geom = "point")
../_images/08-Data_R_159_0.png
# smooth
qplot(log(Predator.mass), log(Prey.mass), data = MyDF, geom = "smooth")
`geom_smooth()` using method = 'gam' and formula 'y ~ s(x, bs = "cs")'
../_images/08-Data_R_160_1.png
qplot(log(Predator.mass), log(Prey.mass), data = MyDF, geom = "smooth", method = "lm")
`geom_smooth()` using formula 'y ~ x'
../_images/08-Data_R_161_1.png

Advanced plotting: ggplot

The command qplot allows you to use only a single dataset and a single set of “aesthetics” (x, y, etc.). To make full use of ggplot2, we need to use the command ggplot, which allows you to use “layering”. Layering is the mechanism by which additional data elements are added to a plot. Each layer can come from a different dataset and have a different aesthetic mapping, allowing us to create plots that could not be generated using qplot(), which permits only a single dataset and a single set of aesthetic mappings.

For a ggplot plotting command, we need at least:

  • The data to be plotted, in a data frame;

  • Aesthetics mappings, specifying which variables we want to plot, and how;

  • The geom, defining the geometry for representing the data;

  • (Optionally) some stat that transforms the data or performs statistics using the data.

To start a graph, we must specify the data and the aesthetics:

p <- ggplot(MyDF, aes(x = log(Predator.mass),
                y = log(Prey.mass),
                colour = Type.of.feeding.interaction))

Here we have created a graphics object p to which we can add layers and other plot elements.

Now try to plot the graph:

p
../_images/08-Data_R_165_0.png

Plot is blank because we are yet to specify a geometry — only then can we see the graph:

p + geom_point()
../_images/08-Data_R_167_0.png

We can use the “+” sign to concatenate different commands:

p <- ggplot(MyDF, aes(x = log(Predator.mass), y = log(Prey.mass), colour = Type.of.feeding.interaction ))
q <- p + 
geom_point(size=I(2), shape=I(10)) +
theme_bw() + # make the background white
theme(aspect.ratio=1) # make the plot square
q
../_images/08-Data_R_169_0.png

Let’s remove the legend:

q + theme(legend.position = "none") + theme(aspect.ratio=1)
../_images/08-Data_R_171_0.png

Now, same as before, but using ggplot instead of qplot:

p <- ggplot(MyDF, aes(x = log(Prey.mass/Predator.mass), fill = Type.of.feeding.interaction )) + geom_density()
p
../_images/08-Data_R_173_0.png
p <- ggplot(MyDF, aes(x = log(Prey.mass/Predator.mass), fill = Type.of.feeding.interaction)) + geom_density(alpha=0.5)
p
../_images/08-Data_R_174_0.png

You can also create a multifaceted plot:

p <- ggplot(MyDF, aes(x = log(Prey.mass/Predator.mass), fill = Type.of.feeding.interaction )) +  geom_density() + facet_wrap( .~ Type.of.feeding.interaction)
p
../_images/08-Data_R_177_0.png

The axis limits in the plots are fixed irrespective of the data ranges, making it harder to visualize the shapes of the distributions. You can free up the axes to allow data-specific axis limits by using the scales = "free" argument:

p <- ggplot(MyDF, aes(x = log(Prey.mass/Predator.mass), fill = Type.of.feeding.interaction )) +  geom_density() + facet_wrap( .~ Type.of.feeding.interaction, scales = "free")
p
../_images/08-Data_R_179_0.png

Tip

In facet_wrap, You can also free up just the x or y scales; look up the documentation for this function.

Now let’s plot the size-ratio distributions by location (and again, with scales free):

p <- ggplot(MyDF, aes(x = log(Prey.mass/Predator.mass))) +  geom_density() + facet_wrap( .~ Location, scales = "free")
p
../_images/08-Data_R_183_0.png

A different example:

p <- ggplot(MyDF, aes(x = log(Prey.mass), y = log(Predator.mass))) +  geom_point() + facet_wrap( .~ Location, scales = "free")
p
../_images/08-Data_R_185_0.png

You can also combine categories like this (this will be BIG plot!):

p <- ggplot(MyDF, aes(x = log(Prey.mass), y = log(Predator.mass))) +  geom_point() + facet_wrap( .~ Location + Type.of.feeding.interaction, scales = "free")
p
../_images/08-Data_R_188_0.png

And you can also change the order of the combination:

p <- ggplot(MyDF, aes(x = log(Prey.mass), y = log(Predator.mass))) +  geom_point() + facet_wrap( .~ Type.of.feeding.interaction + Location, scales = "free")
p
../_images/08-Data_R_190_0.png

For more fine-tuned faceting, look up the facet_grid() and facet_wrap() functions within ggplot2. Look up this variant of the R Cookbook for more examples.

Some useful ggplot examples

Plotting a matrix

Let’s plot the values of a matrix. This is basically the same as rendering a 2D image. We will visualize random values taken from a unform distribution \(\mathcal U [0,1]\). Because we want to plot a matrix, and ggplot2 accepts only dataframes, we use the package reshape2, which can “melt” a matrix into a dataframe:

require(reshape2)
GenerateMatrix <- function(N){
    M <- matrix(runif(N * N), N, N)
    return(M)
}
M <- GenerateMatrix(10)
Melt <- melt(M)
p <- ggplot(Melt, aes(Var1, Var2, fill = value)) + geom_tile() + theme(aspect.ratio = 1)
p
../_images/08-Data_R_197_0.png

Add a black line dividing cells:

p + geom_tile(colour = "black") + theme(aspect.ratio = 1)
../_images/08-Data_R_199_0.png

Remove the legend:

p + theme(legend.position = "none") + theme(aspect.ratio = 1)
../_images/08-Data_R_201_0.png

Remove all the rest:

p + theme(legend.position = "none", 
     panel.background = element_blank(),
     axis.ticks = element_blank(), 
     panel.grid.major = element_blank(),
     panel.grid.minor = element_blank(),
     axis.text.x = element_blank(),
     axis.title.x = element_blank(),
     axis.text.y = element_blank(),
     axis.title.y = element_blank())
../_images/08-Data_R_203_0.png

Explore some colors:

p + scale_fill_continuous(low = "yellow", high = "darkgreen")
../_images/08-Data_R_205_0.png
p + scale_fill_gradient2()
../_images/08-Data_R_206_0.png
p + scale_fill_gradientn(colours = grey.colors(10))
../_images/08-Data_R_207_0.png
p + scale_fill_gradientn(colours = rainbow(10))
../_images/08-Data_R_208_0.png
p + scale_fill_gradientn(colours = c("red", "white", "blue"))
../_images/08-Data_R_209_0.png

Tip

Look up the plotly package, which allows you to create interactive graphs from ggplot2 plots

Plotting two dataframes together

According to Girko’s circular law, the eigenvalues of a matrix \(M\) of size \(N \times N\) are approximately contained in a circle in the complex plane with radius \(\sqrt{N}\). Let’s draw the results of a simulation displaying this result.

First, we need to build a function object that will calculate the ellipse (the perdicted bounds of the eigenvalues):

build_ellipse <- function(hradius, vradius){ # function that returns an ellipse
  npoints = 250
  a <- seq(0, 2 * pi, length = npoints + 1)
  x <- hradius * cos(a)
  y <- vradius * sin(a)  
  return(data.frame(x = x, y = y))
}
N <- 250 # Assign size of the matrix

M <- matrix(rnorm(N * N), N, N) # Build the matrix

eigvals <- eigen(M)$values # Find the eigenvalues

eigDF <- data.frame("Real" = Re(eigvals), "Imaginary" = Im(eigvals)) # Build a dataframe

my_radius <- sqrt(N) # The radius of the circle is sqrt(N)

ellDF <- build_ellipse(my_radius, my_radius) # Dataframe to plot the ellipse

names(ellDF) <- c("Real", "Imaginary") # rename the columns

Now the plotting:

# plot the eigenvalues
p <- ggplot(eigDF, aes(x = Real, y = Imaginary))
p <- p +
  geom_point(shape = I(3)) +
  theme(legend.position = "none")

# now add the vertical and horizontal line
p <- p + geom_hline(aes(yintercept = 0))
p <- p + geom_vline(aes(xintercept = 0))

# finally, add the ellipse
p <- p + geom_polygon(data = ellDF, aes(x = Real, y = Imaginary, alpha = 1/20, fill = "red"))
p
../_images/08-Data_R_215_0.png

\(\star\) Create a self-sufficient R Script called Girko.R that combines all the above commands for plotting the Girko’s law simulation, including saving the result figure as a file called Girko.pdf in the results directory.

Annotating plots

In this example, we will use the ggplot geom text to annotate a plot.

a <- read.table("../data/Results.txt", header = TRUE)

Check what the data look like:

head(a)
A data.frame: 6 × 5
xy1y2y3Label
<dbl><int><int><int><chr>
13.515424432043200NA
23.533984216021600NA
33.557647432043200NA
43.569953432043200NA
53.578984864086400NA
63.585665216021600NA
a$ymin <- rep(0, dim(a)[1]) # append a column of zeros

# Print the first linerange
p <- ggplot(a)
p <- p + geom_linerange(data = a, aes(
                          x = x,
                          ymin = ymin,
                          ymax = y1,
                          size = (0.5)
                          ),
                        colour = "#E69F00",
                        alpha = 1/2, show.legend = FALSE)

# Print the second linerange
p <- p + geom_linerange(data = a, aes(
                          x = x,
                          ymin = ymin,
                          ymax = y2,
                          size = (0.5)
                          ),
                        colour = "#56B4E9",
                        alpha = 1/2, show.legend = FALSE)

# Print the third linerange:
p <- p + geom_linerange(data = a, aes(
                          x = x,
                          ymin = ymin,
                          ymax = y3,
                          size = (0.5)
                          ),
                        colour = "#D55E00",
                        alpha = 1/2, show.legend = FALSE)

# Annotate the plot with labels:
p <- p + geom_text(data = a, aes(x = x, y = -500, label = Label))

# now set the axis labels, remove the legend, and prepare for bw printing
p <- p + scale_x_continuous("My x axis",
                            breaks = seq(3, 5, by = 0.05)) + 
                            scale_y_continuous("My y axis") + 
                            theme_bw() + 
                            theme(legend.position = "none") 
p
Warning message:
“Removed 91 rows containing missing values (geom_text).”
../_images/08-Data_R_221_1.png

\(\star\) Create a self-sufficient R Script called MyBars.R that combines all the above commands for annotating a plot, including saving the result figure as a file called MyBars.pdf.

Mathematical display

Let’s try mathematical annotation of an axis as well as within the plot area.

First create some linear regression “data”:

x <- seq(0, 100, by = 0.1)
y <- -4. + 0.25 * x +
  rnorm(length(x), mean = 0., sd = 2.5)

# and put them in a dataframe
my_data <- data.frame(x = x, y = y)

# perform a linear regression
my_lm <- summary(lm(y ~ x, data = my_data))

# plot the data
p <-  ggplot(my_data, aes(x = x, y = y,
                          colour = abs(my_lm$residual))
             ) +
  geom_point() +
  scale_colour_gradient(low = "black", high = "red") +
  theme(legend.position = "none") +
  scale_x_continuous(
    expression(alpha^2 * pi / beta * sqrt(Theta)))

# add the regression line
p <- p + geom_abline(
  intercept = my_lm$coefficients[1][1],
  slope = my_lm$coefficients[2][1],
  colour = "red")
# throw some math on the plot
p <- p + geom_text(aes(x = 60, y = 0,
                       label = "sqrt(alpha) * 2* pi"), 
                       parse = TRUE, size = 6, 
                       colour = "blue")

p
../_images/08-Data_R_224_0.png

\(\star\) Create a self-sufficient R Script called plotLin.R that combines all the above commands for annotating a linear regression plot, including saving the resulting figure as a file called MyLinReg.pdf.

ggthemes

The package ggthemes provides you some additional geoms, scales, and themes for ggplot. These include a theme based on Tufte’s The Visual Display of Quantitative Information (see suggested readings).

Let’s try this package. First install it:

install.packages("ggthemes")

Then try:

library(ggthemes)

p <- ggplot(MyDF, aes(x = log(Predator.mass), y = log(Prey.mass),
                colour = Type.of.feeding.interaction )) +
                geom_point(size=I(2), shape=I(10)) + theme_bw()

p + geom_rangeframe() + # now fine tune the geom to Tufte's range frame
        theme_tufte() # and theme to Tufte's minimal ink theme    
../_images/08-Data_R_227_0.png

Go to https://github.com/jrnold/ggthemes for more information and a list of geoms, themes, and scales.

Practicals

Visualizing Regression analyses

In this practical, you will write script that draws and saves a pdf file of the following figure, and writes the accompanying regression results to a formatted table in csv. Note that as the plot suggests, that the analysis must be subsetted by the Predator.lifestage field of the dataset.


image

Write a script that generates this figure

Guidelines:

  • Write a R script file called PP_Regress.R and save it in the Code directory. Sourcing or running this script should result in one pdf file containing the following figure being saved in the results directory: (Hint: Use the print() command to write to the pdf)

  • In addition, the script should calculate the regression results corresponding to the lines fitted in the figure and save it to a csv delimited table called (PP_Regress_Results.csv), in the results directory. (Hint: you will have to initialize a new dataframe in the script to first store the calculations and then write.csv() or write.table() it.)

  • All that you are being asked for here is results of an analysis of Linear regression on subsets of the data corresponding to available Feeding Type \(\times\) Predator life Stage combination — not a multivariate linear model with these two as separate covariates!

  • The regression results should include the following with appropriate headers (e.g., slope, intercept, etc, in each Feeding type \(\times\) life stage category): regression slope, regression intercept, R\(^2\), F-statistic value, and p-value of the overall regression (Hint: Review the Stats week!).

  • The script should be self-sufficient and not need any external inputs — it should import the above predator-prey dataset from the appropriate directory, and save the graphic plots to the appropriate directory (Hint: use relative paths). Anybody should be able to source it without errors.

  • You can also use the dplyr function instead of looping (see R Chapter, and the ggplot command instead of qplot.

Mapping

You can do mapping in R using the maps package. In this practical, you will map the Global Population Dynamics Database (GPDD). This is a freely available database that was developed at Silwood. The Living Planet Index is based upon these data.

  • Use load() from GPDDFiltered.RData that is available on the TheMulQuaBio git repository — have a look at the data contents.

  • What you need is latitude and longitude information for a bunch of species for which population time series are available in the GPDD.

  • Now use install.packages() to install the package maps, as you did with ggplot2

  • Now create a script called GPDD_Data.R that:

    • Loads the maps package

    • Loads the GPDD data

    • Creates a world map (use the map function, read its help, also google examples using maps

    • Superimposes on the map all the locations from which we have data in the GPDD dataframe

  • Looking at the map, what biases might you expect in any analysis based on the data represented? include your answer as a comment at the end of your R script.

Groupwork practical: Regression analysis

Do the same as (1) above, but the analysis this time should be separate by the dataset’s Location field. Call it PP_Regress_loc.R. No need to generate plots for this (just the analysis results to a .csv file), as a combination of Type.of.feeding.interaction, Predator.lifestage, and Location will be far too busy (faceting by three variables is too much to be meaningful)!

Readings & Resources

Check out DataDataData!, Visualization and R, under readings on the TheMulQuaBio repository.

Data management, reformatting and cleaning

Data analysis

Data visualization