SED navigation bar go to SED home page go to SED publications page go to NIST home page SED Home Page SED Contacts SED Projects SED Products and Publications Search SED Pages

contents     previous     next

5.4 Dataplot Enhancements

James J. Filliben

Statistical Engineering Division, CAML

Alan Heckert

Robert Lipman

Scientific Computing Environments Division, CAML

The Dataplot software system continues to serve as a resource in the dissemination of statistical methodology to the scientific and engineering community-both within and outside of NIST. Some of the more significant enhancements over the last year are as follows:

1. Documentation: Alan Heckert has produced a 2000-page Framemaker-produced Dataplot Reference Manual. It has been WERB-approved, and is now in production.

2. Probability Distributions: The collection of built-in distribution functions (pdf's, cdf's, ppf's, random number generation, probability plotting) has been further expanded (Alan) and now numbers about 75 distributions (a good portion of Johnson and Kotz). Dataplot has the most comprehensive collection of probability capabilities of any commercial package.

3. Special Functions: The special functions capabilities have been greatly enhanced (Alan). The primary source was SLATEC.

4. Data File Augmentations: (Jim) The collection of interesting on-line data sets has been expanded from 250 to 275. Some of these data sets will serve as test sets in the Standard Reference Data Sets project (Eric Lagergren).

5. Front-end Menu Subsystem and Graphical User Interface: A Turbo-C GUI for the PC is near-completion (Jim). It was demonstrated in the SED Software Seminar Series (April 10). Design philosophy for the GUI involves many "power" centers: data-centric (easy link to 250 data files); literature-centric (connection to classic stat literature data sets); graphics-centric (graphs are better than numbers) problem-centric (some analysts need general problem "roadmaps") technique-centric (some analysts want specific techniques, thus GUI is designed to allow quick access to techniques). Finally, the GUI menu system has been designed as extensible/editable (GUI menus are entirely file-driven).

6. Distribution via the WEB The World Wide Web is now a major mechanism for the distribution of Dataplot. The anonymous FTP site ( has been upgraded over the year. Unix executables for 5 different computers are available: Sun, Silicon Graphics, Hewlett-Packard, IBM RS-6000, and Convex. A DEC Alpha version is available from another machine. PC executables are available for 386, 486, and pentiums. A Vax VMS version is also available. In addition, the original source code and all auxiliary ASCII files are available via FTP.

Dataplot has been designed for portability. Known implementations of Dataplot exist on the following NIST computers : Convex 3820, Sun, SGI, IBM RS-6000, HP-9000, DEC-Alpha, Vax VMS, PC 386, PC 486, PC Pentium.

contents     previous     next

Date created: 7/20/2001
Last updated: 7/20/2001
Please email comments on this WWW page to