Curse of dimensionality, interactive demo

Jeff Leek was trying to explain the curse of dimensionality and realized that there had to be a better way! Leek’s student Prasad Patil cooked up an interactive to demonstrate the curse.

From Leek:

I recently was contacted for an interview about the curse of dimensionality. During the course of the conversation, I realized how hard it is to explain the curse to a general audience. One of the best descriptions I could come up with was trying to describe sampling from a unit line, square, cube, etc. and taking samples with side length fixed. You would capture fewer and fewer points. As I was saying this, I realized it is a pretty bad way to explain the curse of dimensionality in words.

Here’s the Wikipedia page on the curse, if you like. Or you can just give Patil’s interactive a whirl.

Favorites

Causes of Death

There are many ways to die. Cancer. Infection. Mental. External. This is how different groups of people died over the past 10 years, visualized by age.

This is an American Workday, By Occupation

I simulated a day for employed Americans to see when and where they work.

Famous Movie Quotes as Charts

In celebration of their 100-year anniversary, the American Film Institute selected the 100 most memorable quotes from American cinema, and …

Think Like a Statistician – Without the Math

I call myself a statistician, because, well, I’m a statistics graduate student. However, the most important things I’ve learned are less formal, but have proven extremely useful when working/playing with data.