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Universal HEP plots

Project description

Universal HEP plot

Pipeline Coverage Lint License PyPI Docs

Universal HEP plot is a textual data format (JSON or YAML) to define plots used in high-energy physics contexts, especially for my PhD within the ATLAS Collaboration. Usually, analysis software processes a list of events (xAOD, ntuple, HDF5 or similar formats) and converts them into a histograms and, in most cases, also into plots. This makes it hard to change the style retroactively. Alternatively, plots might be saved in ROOT format (e.g. TH1F), which lose a lot of information on how the data should be visualized.

The universal HEP plot format defines an interface between analysis software and plotting software. The definition of a plot in UHEP contains histograms organized in stacks, their uncertainties (potentially systematic variations) and the plotting style (colors, line widths, labels, etc.). The separation of data processing and data visualization is mirrored in the file format. The style can be changed without rerunning the analysis. The universality of the interface allows for multiple analysis frameworks and plotting frameworks to be wired together.

Typical applications include:

  • Bulk storage of plots in a database (e.g. mongodb) for later retrieval and reuse
  • Provide plots on multiple media, e.g. traditional files (png, pdf), or interactive web applications
  • Collaboration in an analysis team
  • Rebrand plots from "ATLAS Internal" to "ATLAS"


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