I have 2 series of numbers e.g x=[1,3,4,6,9] y=[100,179,210,400,650]. I want to plot them and show that plot in a manuscript. However, these numbers represent some private information and hence I don't want to reveal the actual magnitudes of these numbers. But, I still want to show the relative trends in the two series side-by-side in one plot.

I was thinking that the best way might be to scale them by an arbitrary constant and then plot them.

Is there a better way of plotting them while keeping them private while still capturing relevant information?

Any help is greatly appreciated!

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ If you scale them by constant, then if someone is able to guess any of the numbers, or difference between any two numbers, she can re-scale all of them. So it does not give much security. $\endgroup$
    – Tim
    Commented Sep 24, 2019 at 15:21
  • $\begingroup$ What is the point of the plot? To compare sizes of x and y? their relative rates of increase? their correlation? something else? $\endgroup$
    – BruceET
    Commented Sep 25, 2019 at 0:27
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You can use relative units, instead of saying an increase of 2 per year, you would say a 200% increase per year. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 25, 2019 at 7:16

1 Answer 1


Scaling may not prove fruitful if you variable doesnot permit. Every variable has a set of possible values. Instead you could use breaks in scale_x/y_continuous to put breaks at appropriate place. Or, you could remove the graph from the manuscript,as anybody can calculate the approximate equation from the graph you put.


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