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Old 09-03-2009
gnuplot limitations

I'm running a simulation (programmed in C) which makes calls to gnuplot periodically to plot data I have stored.

First I open a pipe to gnuplot and set it to multiplot:

FILE * pipe = popen("gnuplot", "w");
fprintf(pipe, "set multiplot\n");
fflush(pipe);

(this pipe stays open until the end of the program when I open it)

Next I use fopen to open a file called "plot". Write all the commands I want to have plotted (there's quite a few of them as many of them are just plotting 1 point with a specific color and point style). Once I've written all the commands to plot I close "plot"

Then I use the pipe again to load my file

fprintf(pipe, "load \"plot\"\n");

I'm running it like this so I can constantly plot on the same window and see my plots in real time as the program runs.

Functionally it works but a delay starts to build up and eventually becomes extremely significant.

My load commands are generally on the order of 2000 lines.

So to actually get to a question, does gnuplot have strange behavior for very large loads or can plot take a long time with that. My guess is that my program is piping loads to gnuplot before previous commands are finished completing. Has anyone had experience with this kind of situation, or can anyone suggest a better method for real time plotting in C.

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GPSPROF(1)							GPSD Documentation							GPSPROF(1)

NAME
gpsprof - profile a GPS and gpsd, plotting latency information SYNOPSIS
gpsprof [-f plot_type] [-m threshold] [-n packetcount] [-t title] [-T terminal] [-d dumpfile] [-l logfile] [-r] [-D debuglevel] [-h] [[server[:port[:device]]]] DESCRIPTION
gpsprof performs accuracy and latency profiling on a GPS. It emits to standard output a GNUPLOT program that draws an illustrative graph. It can also be told to emit the raw profile data. The information it provides can be useful for establishing an upper bound on latency, and thus on position accuracy of a GPS in motion. gpsprof uses instrumentation built into gpsd. To display the graph, use gnuplot(1). Thus, for example, to display the default spatial scatter plot, do this: gpsprof | gnuplot -persist To generate an image file: gpsprof -T png | gnuplot >image.png OPTIONS
The -f option sets the plot type. The X axis is samples (sentences with timestamps). The Y axis is normally latency in seconds. Currently the following plot types are defined: space Generate a scattergram of fixes and plot a probable-error circle. This data is only meaningful if the GPS is held stationary while gpsprof is running. This is the default. uninstrumented Plot total latency without instrumentation. Useful mainly as a check that the instrumentation is not producing significant distortion. It only plots times for reports that contain fixes; staircase-like artifacts in the plot are created when elapsed time from reports without fixes is lumped in. instrumented Plot instrumented profile. Plots various components of the total latency between the GPS's fix time fix and when the client receives the fix. For purposes of the description, below, start-of-reporting-cycle (SORC) is when a device's reporting cycle begins. This time is detected by watching to see when data availability follows a long enough amount of quiet time that we can be sure we've seen the gap at the end of the sensor's previous report-transmission cycle. Detecting this gap requires a device running at 9600bps or faster. Similarly, EORC is end-of-reporting-cycle; when the daemon has seen the last sentence it needs in the reporting cycle and ready to ship a fix to the client. The components of the instrumented plot are as follows: Fix latency Delta between GPS time and SORC. RS232 time RS232 transmission time for data shipped during the cycle (computed from character volume and baud rate). Analysis time EORC, minus SORC, minus RS232 time. The amount of real time the daemon spent on computation rather than I/O. Reception time Shipping time from the daemon to when it was received by gpsprof. Because of RS232 buffering effects, the profiler sometimes generates reports of ridiculously high latencies right at the beginning of a session. The -m option lets you set a latency threshold, in multiples of the cycle time, above which reports are discarded. The -n option sets the number of packets to sample. The default is 100. The -t option sets a text string to be included in the plot title. The -T option generates a terminal type setting into the gnuplot code. Typical usage is "-T png" telling gnuplot to write a PNG file. Without this option gnuplot will call its X11 display code. The -d option dumps the plot data, without attached gnuplot code, to a specified file for post-analysis. The -l option dumps the raw JSON reports collected from the device to a specified file. The -r option replots from a JSON logfile (such as -l produces) on standard input. Both -n and -l options are ignored when this one is selected. The -h option makes gpsprof print a usage message and exit. The -D sets debug level. Sending SIGUSR1 to a running instance causes it to write a completion message to standard error and resume processing. The first number in the startup message is the process ID to signal. SEE ALSO
gpsd(8), gps(1), libgps(3), libgpsd(3), gpsfake(1), gpsctl(1), gpscat(1), gnuplot(1). AUTHOR
Eric S. Raymond esr@thyrsus.com. The GPSD Project 10 Feb 2005 GPSPROF(1)

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