3
$\begingroup$

I must have generated at least 5 Q-Q plots until now when trying to fit my data into a known distribution but I just noticed something that I could not understand. In the figure shown below, from what I've read from the wiki, X-axis is supposed to read "Negative Binomial Theoretical Quantiles" and Y-axis is supposed to read "Data quantiles". Agreed that this makes perfect sense. But when I looked at the figure, the X and Y axis go beyond 100 but how can there be quantiles beyond 100? What do they mean if they exist? Or is this graph produced by the qqplot of R totally different? Can someone help me understand this?

The way I was generating this data was using the following script:

library(MASS)

# Define the data
data <- c(67, 81, 93, 65, 18, 44, 31, 103, 64, 19, 27, 57, 63, 25, 22, 150,
          31, 58, 93, 6, 86, 43, 17, 9, 78, 23, 75, 28, 37, 23, 108, 14, 137,
          69, 58, 81, 62, 25, 54, 57, 65, 72, 17, 22, 170, 95, 38, 33, 34, 68, 
          38, 117, 28, 17, 19, 25, 24, 15, 103, 31, 33, 77, 38, 8, 48, 32, 48, 
          26, 63, 16, 70, 87, 31, 36, 31, 38, 91, 117, 16, 40, 7, 26, 15, 89, 
          67, 7, 39, 33, 58)

# Fit the data to a model
params = fitdistr(data, "Negative Binomial")

#using the answer from params create a set of theoretical values
plot(qnbinom(ppoints(data), size=2.3539444, mu=50.7752809), sort(data))
abline(0,1)

alt text

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Please do not cross-post simultaneously on SO and here. $\endgroup$ – Dirk Eddelbuettel Nov 29 '10 at 1:53
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Dirk Eddelbuettel: Deleted my other post. I wasn't sure if this comes under programming or pure statistics.. Anycase, thanks for pointing it out. $\endgroup$ – Legend Nov 29 '10 at 3:14
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I came across this article regarding QQ plots and various distributions and thought you may appreciate reading through it. $\endgroup$ – Chase Nov 30 '10 at 12:58
  • $\begingroup$ @Chase: Awesome! Looks like it discusses a number of things. I'll read it right away. +1 Thank you very much. $\endgroup$ – Legend Nov 30 '10 at 14:33
  • $\begingroup$ As it happens, I'm working on a very similar problem, with about the same experience level. Have you taken into account that your data appear to be left- or zero-truncated? Also, in addition to negative-binomial, have you considered the beta binomial or geometric distributions for your count data? $\endgroup$ – Jeff Tyzzer Dec 17 '10 at 6:44
5
$\begingroup$

I think R is doing perfectly what you want it to do.

You are plotting:

x = qnbinom(ppoints(data), size=2.3539444, mu=50.7752809)

which is:

[1] 3 5 7 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 [16] 21 21 22 23 24 25 25 26 27 28 28 29 30 31 31 [31] 32 33 34 35 35 36 37 38 39 39 40 41 42 43 44 [46] 45 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 59 [61] 60 61 62 63 65 66 68 69 71 72 74 76 77 79 81 [76] 84 86 89 91 94 97 101 105 110 116 123 132 146 175

with respect to

y = sort(data)

which is:

[1] 6 7 7 8 9 14 15 15 16 16 17 17 17 18 19 [16] 19 22 22 23 23 24 25 25 25 26 26 27 28 28 31 [31] 31 31 31 31 32 33 33 33 34 36 37 38 38 38 38 [46] 39 40 43 44 48 48 54 57 57 58 58 58 62 63 63 [61] 64 65 65 67 67 68 69 70 72 75 77 78 81 81 86 [76] 87 89 91 93 93 95 103 103 108 117 117 137 150 170

Therefore, you have 100+ values on both the axis. If you want to plot quantiles, you need to tell R to do so by doing this:

plot(pnbinom(sort(data), size=2.3539444, mu=50.7752809), ppoints(data))

| cite | improve this answer | |
$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Awesome! Thanks a lot for your time and explanation. I have accepted this as an answer but can you kindly explain how to interpret my original graph? $\endgroup$ – Legend Nov 29 '10 at 6:52
  • $\begingroup$ @Legend. As I pointed out, your graph plots the sorted data points (y in our case) vs the corresponding values of negative binomial random variable which correspond to the value of probabilities ppoints(data) in your case. Therefore, the last point in your graph is (175, 170) which is below the abline(0,1). $\endgroup$ – suncoolsu Nov 29 '10 at 7:34

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