A simple function for a Biplot in R

Steve Simon

2006-01-24

[StATS]: A simple function for a Biplot in R (January 24, 2006).

I regularly use a biplot or principal components plot as an initial exploratory tool for microarray analyses, but I have not found a good package that does this for me automatically. Rather than re-inventing the code every time, I created a simple R function that does the job for me. It's not the fanciest or best code in the world, but I wanted to put it here and comment on the various alternative forms of the biplot and principal components plot when I have time.

pc.plot <- function(x,ulabs,vlabs) { <U+FFFD>nrows <- dim(x)[[1]] <U+FFFD>ncols <- dim(x)[[2]] <U+FFFD>x.means <- apply(x,1,mean) <U+FFFD>x.sd <- sqrt(apply(x,1,var)) <U+FFFD>x.cen <- x - (x.means %o% rep(1,ncols)) <U+FFFD>x.z <- x.cen / (x.sd %o% rep(1,ncols)) <U+FFFD>x.svd <- svd(x.z) <U+FFFD>d1 <- x.svd$d[1] <U+FFFD>d2 <- x.svd$d[2] <U+FFFD>u1 <- x.svd$u[,1]*sqrt(d1) <U+FFFD>u2 <- x.svd$u[,2]*sqrt(d2) <U+FFFD>v1 <- x.svd$v[,1]*sqrt(d1) <U+FFFD>v2 <- x.svd$v[,2]*sqrt(d2) <U+FFFD>u.v.range <- range(u1,u2,v1,v2) <U+FFFD>par(mar=rep(0.1,4)) <U+FFFD>plot(u.v.range,u.v.range,type="n",xlab=" ",ylab=" ") <U+FFFD>arrows(0,0,v1,v2) <U+FFFD>text(v1,v2,vlabs) <U+FFFD>text(u1,u2,steroid.symbol) <U+FFFD>u1 }

This code uses the singular value decomposition function (svd) to identify the linear combinations of rows and columns that maximize the variation. There are several scaling options that I could choose that will give different perspectives on this plot. Also, the ulabs argument provides labels for each row of X, which may be impractical for many large scale problems.

An article I commented on in the weblog entry,

provides some valuable comments about biplots, though it uses a different program for its examples.

Creative CommonsLicense This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License. It was written by Steve Simon on 2006-01-24, edited by Steve Simon, and was last modified on 2010-04-01. Send feedback to ssimon at cmh dot edu or click on the email link at the top of the page. Category: Data mining

This page was written by Steve Simon while working at Children's Mercy Hospital. Although I do not hold the copyright for this material, I am reproducing it here as a service, as it is no longer available on the Children's Mercy Hospital website. Need more information? I have a page with general help resources. You can also browse for pages similar to this one at

for pages similar to this one at with general help resources. You can also browse Children's Mercy Hospital website. Need more information? I have a page reproducing it here as a service, as it is no longer available on the Hospital. Although I do not hold the copyright for this material, I am This page was written by Steve Simon while working at Children's Mercy