Take the 2-minute tour ×
Mathematics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people studying math at any level and professionals in related fields. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I am trying to discourage people from using radar chart diagrams (e.g. this one) where this is not appropriate.

I have already made the point that the optical effect will be distorted because variance in high values result in much larger changes of area covered.

I have also made the point that the optical impression of spikyness versus compactness (are the attributes balanced or not?) depends on the order of the items.

There is one question that remains open to me. Does the size of the area covered inside the line (the blue vs. red area in the chart) depend on the ordering of the items or not?

share|improve this question

1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Yes.

Suppose there are four attributes, and their values are $A = 1$, $B = 1$, $C = 0$, and $D = 0$.

In the order $ABCD$, the chart looks like a right triangle whose area is $\frac12$.

In the order $ACBD$, the chart looks like a straight line whose area is zero.

In theory, you can avoid this problem by connecting the points with segments of Archimedean spirals instead of straight lines. But nobody does that because it's more trouble than it's worth.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.