What's Textile Plot?

The textile plot (Kumasaka and Shibata 2007 in press) is a parallel coordinate plot in which the ordering, locations and scales of the axes are simultaneously chosen so that the connecting lines, each of which represents a case, are aligned as horizontally as possible. Plots of this type can accommodate numerical data as well as ordered or unordered categorical data, or a mixture of these different data types. The textile plot is also designed to make it easier for the user to interpret a given data set, with various attributes of the data being displayed as well as missing value information. Knots and parallel wefts within the textile plot also aid in the visual interpretation of the data. Several practical examples are presented which illustrate the potential usefulness of the textile plot as an aid to the visualisation of multivariate data.

Design Principle

As Cleveland states in "the elements of graphing data", a graphical method is successful only if the decoding process from the given graphic by the viewer is effective. Thus, our aim in designing the textile plot was not only to graphically represent the data points themselves but also to assist the user in their interpretation of the data. With this aim in mind, it would appear reasonable to display any other information that might be helpful to the user in the textile plot together with the data. Also the ordering of the axes needs to be carefully determined.

How to Use

Appearance of Textile Plot is very similar to ordinary web browser. Use it and learn how to use it. The difference is that the target object is not a HTML file but "data" which is described by XML along with DandD DTD. We call the XML document DandD (Data and Description) instance. You can specify any instance at the URL field, you can see the whole picture of the data in the DandD instance. An easiest way to create a DandD instance from a CSV file is to install CSV2DAD (EXE, JAR). You may find any other softwares related to DandD instance in DandD Project Home Page. You need an internet connection since Textile Plot is a client software of the DandD Server-Client System. You need to install a DandD Server on your local computer is no internet connection is available.

Visual Operation

User can explore data on Textile Plot through various interactions like zooming, highlighting and so on. Visual instructions given by user are sent to Textile Plot according to a reference model proposed in Kumasaka and shibata (2006 in Japanese). The reference model to design an ideal environment for working with data through the textile plot consists of a sequence of four objects, the data, the parallel coordinate, the visual analogue and the textile plot objects. A data object is transformed into a parallel coordinate object which is a set of coordinate vectors. The visual analogue is an abstract representation of the textile plot produced. The textile plot object is a textile plot but constructed without any restriction in the real world like size of display or its resolution. User can view this object through various interfaces like zooming or resizing. Visual instructions given by user are, therefore, sent to one of the objects according to its own nature.


Kumasaka N. et al. (2008) High-dimensional data visualisation: The textile plot. Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, 52(7):3616-44.


Kumasaka N. (2012) A Haplotype Visualisation of MUlti-Allelic Genetic Markers. IBC2012 Kobe, Invited Session 9: Data Visualization: Optimization and Applications

Shibata R. (2012) Visaulising Relationships between Multi-Species Measures of Biodiversity and the Environment, IBC2012 Kobe, Invited Session 9: Data Visualization: Optimization and Applications

Copyright(C)2007 Natsuhiko Kumasaka All Rights Reserved.