I have a problem where I want to use a classifier for it. So I defined a set of features and created a dataset. Now I want to generate some plots to understand the features. I came across the Scatterplot Matrix or the Correlation Matrix, but I'm so confused about if they are the same thing or not.

1 - Visualizing correlation matrices

2- Scatterplot Matrices

So my questions:

  • Are they the same thing?

  • Does plotting both make sense? i.e. each plot convey a different message?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You don't have to choose. Good plotting wrappers for correlation matrices, such as statmethods.net/advgraphs/correlograms.html , will happily give you the option to plot the scatters in one of the diagonals, and the coefficients in the. $\endgroup$
    – jona
    Jul 14, 2014 at 10:26

1 Answer 1


No, they are not the same thing.

The correlation matrix shows the strength of each correlation, but correlation is a measure of the linear relationship between two variables.

The scatterplot matrix is a matrix of scatterplots; a scatterplot lets you assess all the relationships between two variables.

The downsides of the latter are: 1) It's more work 2) It doesn't necessarily get you a single number summary (although some interesting work is being done) 3) You can't fit as big a matrix on the page.


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