Histogram calculation in julia-lang

refer to julia-lang documentations :

hist(v[, n]) → e, counts

Compute the histogram of v, optionally using approximately n bins. The return values are a range e, which correspond to the edges of the bins, and counts containing the number of elements of v in each bin. Note: Julia does not ignore NaN values in the computation.

I choose a sample range of data


then use hist function to calculate histogram for 1 to 5 bins

hist(testdata,1) # => (-10.0:10.0:10.0,[1,10])
hist(testdata,2) # => (-5.0:5.0:10.0,[1,5,5])
hist(testdata,3) # => (-5.0:5.0:10.0,[1,5,5])
hist(testdata,4) # => (-5.0:5.0:10.0,[1,5,5])
hist(testdata,5) # => (-2.0:2.0:10.0,[1,2,2,2,2,2])

as you see when I want 1 bin it calculates 2 bins, and when I want 2 bins it calculates 3.

why does this happen?


  • As the person who wrote the underlying function: the aim is to get bin widths that are "nice" in terms of a base-10 counting system (i.e. 10k, 2×10k, 5×10k). If you want more control you can also specify the exact bin edges.