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scatter diagram
Last modified: Sunday, September 01, 1996 

A type of diagram used to show the relationship between data items that have two numeric properties. One property is represented along the x-axis and the other along the y-axis. Each item is then represented by a single point.

Scatter diagrams are used frequently by computer publications to compare categories of hardware and software products. One axis represents price, while the other represents performance. Typically, all compared products fall near an imaginary diagonal line -- that is, performance and price rise together. However, the scatter diagram makes it easy to see items that do not fall near this line, items that are expensive but offer poor performance or items that are inexpensive but provide good performance.

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