Facial recognition for data visualization

The Opportunist

Yesterday, I discovered a very interesting capability in R. There’s a package called aplpack that allows you to plot Chernoff faces. Chernoff faces is a way of presenting multivariate data in which the output looks like the faces of cartoon characters. One thing that I immediately noticed was that in using this package, I could quickly recognize (at a glance) aspects of the dataset that are similar or dissimilar.

Following the example of the article I read, I tested it using the built-in dataset in R known as mtcars (Motor Trend Car Road Tests), which looks like this:

                                  mpg cyl  disp  hp drat    wt  qsec vs am gear carb

Mazda RX4           21.0   6 160.0 110 3.90 2.620 16.46  0  1    4    4

Mazda RX4 Wag       21.0   6 160.0 110 3.90 2.875 17.02  0  1    4   …

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