Box Plot | Vose Software

Box Plot

A Box plot represents the probability distribution of a random variable as a line with some markings. It is most used when one wishes to compare several random variables together.

A Box plot can be created from the Results Viewer Insert ribbon by clicking this icon:


The following is an example of a simple Box plot:

  • Single variable: overlay mode is off (so radio buttons allow selection of only one variable)

  • Default title (the text and format can be edited directly on screen by right clicking)

  • No legend

The horizontal axis shows the possible value of the variable. The box shows the range of the inner percentiles, the longer vertical line shows the central tendency (either the median or, as here, the mean), the smaller vertical lines show the extreme percentiles, and the dots show a sample of those simulated values that lay outside the extreme percentiles.

The following is an example of a more complex histogram plot:

  • Multiple variables: overlay mode is on (so check boxes allow selection of multiple variables)

  • Edited title (the title can be edited directly on screen by right clicking)

  • Legend included


The variables to be plotted are selected from the list of inputs and outputs in the windows on the left. Selecting more than one simulation will plot all selected variables together for all selected simulations. The box plots are then grouped so the plots for a variable for all simulations are grouped together. When a variable’s name is clicked in either the Inputs or Outputs window, the active cell in Excel will move to display the relevant cell in the model for easy verification that the right variable has been chosen.

The format of the plot can be comprehensively adjusted by clicking on the various control buttons in the Box-plot Options tab:

  The following editing tabs are available: