Visualizing Sequences in the Social Sciences: Relative Frequency Sequence Plots

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2013-04-05 (Creation date: 2013-04-05)
Main contributor
Tim Liao
Visualization is a potentially powerful tool for exploration and complexity reduction of categorical sequence data. This presentation discusses currently available sequence visualization against established criteria for graphical excellence in the visual display of quantitative information. Existing sequence graphs fall into two groups: they either represent categorical sequences or summarize them. We discuss in the presentation relative frequency sequence plots as an informative way of graphing sequence data and as a bridge between data representation graphs and data summarization graphs. The efficacy of the proposed plot is assessed by the R2 and the F-statistics. The applicability of the proposed graphs is demonstrated using data from the German Life History Study (GLHS) on women’s family formation. For the workshop please bring your laptop with R installed.
IU Workshop in Methods
Workshop in Methods
Social Science Research Commons


Dr. Liao is Professor of Sociology and Statistics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is Editor of Sociological Methodology and former editor of Sage’s Quantitative Applications in the Social Sciences series, and serves on the editorial board of Demography. His current methodological research focuses on inequality measurement, estimation of social stratification, and visualization of social science sequences.

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