MATLAB Answers


Superimposing Normal Distribution on Histogram

Asked by Lucy
on 22 Sep 2012


I'd like to superimpose a gaussian distribution over a histogram.

I am trying to use the histfit function, but following the histfit(x,n) format, where n is the number of bins, n must be a positive integer. I have (and must maintain) and value of n that is not an integer.

(I have to use a bin width of 0.5stdev of the data set. This results in me having 7.4623 bins.)

How do I overcome this problem?




No products are associated with this question.

1 Answer

Answer by Wayne King
on 22 Sep 2012
Edited by Wayne King
on 22 Sep 2012

Why do you say that you must have a number of bins that is not an integer? How can you have anything but a positive integer for the number of bins?

You can approximate pretty closely a bin width of 1/2*std(data)

     data = randn(1000,1);
     binwidth = 1/2*std(x);
     numbins = round(range(data)/binwidth);
     % now construct a histogram just to check bin width
     [~,binctrs] = hist(data,numbins);
     % look at bin width
     % compare to 1/2*std(data)

You should see there is very little difference between the bin width you want and what you get.

Now you can use that number of bins in histfit()


  1 Comment

Phuong Bui
on 19 Sep 2013

It's perfect! However, Could you please explain why you can calculate number of bins by this formula. Many thanks

Discover MakerZone

MATLAB and Simulink resources for Arduino, LEGO, and Raspberry Pi test

Learn more

Discover what MATLAB® can do for your career.

Opportunities for recent engineering grads.

Apply Today

MATLAB Academy

New to MATLAB?

Learn MATLAB today!