Business, Legal & Accounting Glossary
A histogram is an accurate representation of the distribution of numerical data. It is an estimate of the probability distribution of a continuous variable and was first introduced by Karl Pearson. It differs from a bar graph, in the sense that a bar graph relates two variables, but a histogram relates only one. To construct a histogram, the first step is to “bin” the range of values—that is, divide the entire range of values into a series of intervals—and then count how many values fall into each interval. The bins are usually specified as consecutive, non-overlapping intervals of a variable. The bins must be adjacent and are often of equal size.
Line-chart based on a histogram, it is drawn by joining the mid-points of the blocks at their apexes with a straight line. The extreme points of the line are joined to the horizontal (‘X’) axis (where the mid-point of the respective next class would have been) to result into a polygon. In a very large set of data (where the number of classes increases and difference between their widths decreases) the polygon turns into a smooth curve known as frequency curve or frequency distribution curve. Histographs (and histograms) are commonly used where the subject item is discrete (such as the number of students in a school) instead of being continuous (such as the variations in their heights).
Sometimes referred to as a frequency polygon, a histograph is usually preferred over a histogram where the number of classes is eight or more.
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This glossary post was last updated: 16th February, 2020 | 112 Views.