I must clarify immediately that I am a practicing software developer, not a statistician, and that my college stats class was a very long time ago…
That said, I would like to know if there is a method for accumulating a set of descriptive statistics that could then be used to produce a boxplot, that does not entail storing a bunch of individual samples?
What I am trying to do is produce a graphical summary of queue service times within a complex multi-queue process. I have in the past used a package called tnftools that allowed large samples to be accumulated and then post-processed into a nice graph of response times and outliers… But tnftools are not available for my current platform.
Ideally I would like to be able to accumulate a set of descriptive statistics "on the fly" as the process runs, and then extract the data for analysis on demand. But I cannot simply have the process accumulate samples as the memory / IO involved in doing so would have an unacceptable impact on the performance of the system.